Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia announced plans to launch the first-ever Saudia Ad Diriyah E Prix, an inaugural three-day Formula E event to be held just outside the capital Riyadh, in the historical city of Ad Diriyah. As the December 15 start date approaches, the Kingdom has now made another spectacular announcement: women drivers will compete against male counterparts in the Formula E’s Rookie Test, a competition for up and coming drivers that will take place on the 16th of December.
According to Arab News, female drivers – including well-known figures like Amna Al-Qubaisi, the first Emirati female racing driver – will compete against male rivals for a chance to take part in the official in-season test for the forthcoming season of the FIA ABB Formula E Championship.
Aseel Al Hamad, one of Saudi's pioneering women in racing
Starting karting at the very young age of 13, Al-Qubaisi has risen quickly in her career, becoming a recognized figure in racing after winning the UAE Rotax Max Challenge Championship. She has gone on to participate in key races over the years, such as competing in Formula 4 with Prema Theodore Racing, a motorsport team from Italy.
“I'm very proud to be representing women in general and Arabian women in particular. This test drive is another stepping-stone towards my dream of a professional career in motorsports and thanks to the continuous support of Kaspersky Lab, this dream will eventually come true,” Al-Qubaisi said.
Speaking on the upcoming milestone event, Saudi Princess Haifa bint Mohammed bin Saud, who is Secretary General of the organizing committee for the race, said, “Through the increased participation in and hosting of world-class sports within Vision 2030, we want to inspire the young people of Saudi Arabia towards greater achievement and taking an active role in every part of life.”
The landmark event will see visitors and race enthusiasts enter the Kingdom for the first time ever following this month’s announcement by Saudi Arabia’s General Sports Authority (GSA) that international motor racing fans will now be able to get 30-day visit visas to enter the country for the inaugural one-of-a-kind event.