RIYADH: Reema Juffali made history on Friday by becoming the first Saudi Arabian female racer to drive competitively in the Kingdom.
As the VIP driver in the Jaguar I-PACE e-TROPHY, Reema took to the track at the Diriyah Circuit in the first round of the championship.
She completed her fastest lap of the track created in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage site in 1 min 39 seconds, a little over 5 seconds behind the pole position driver.
She went into the official championship race at the back of the grid, but that took nothing away from the moment for the young driver from Jeddah.
"Many (people) are surprised by all the changes happening in Saudi.
"Seeing me in a car, racing, for a lot of people it's a surprise, but I am happy to surprise people," she said.
Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, Chairman of Saudi Arabia's General Sports Authority, touted it as a "watershed" moment for the Kingdom.
"Reema will have thousands cheering her on, as a professional racing driver," the prince said.
Juffali, who made one of her first appearances in competitive racing at the F4 British Championship at Brands Hatch in April, has only about a year of professional racing experience under her belt.
But she has had a passion for fast cars since her teenage years and grew up watching Formula One.
Ahead of the race she said: “I am very excited, I never thought this day would come, or at least I didn’t know when and it came a lot sooner than expected. I’m a year into racing and here I am now about to race at home which is an incredible feeling.”
The Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY series is the official support race the SAUDIA Diriyah E-Prix the opening double header for the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.