FunXtreme's Twitter account
Last year, a few months following the rescinding of the ban on female motorists in Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom made another spectacular announcement in November 2018 with regards to its first-ever Saudia Ad Diriyah E Prix, revealing that women drivers would for the first time compete against male counterparts in the Formula E’s Rookie Test the month after. Today, just a month after that milestone moment for Saudi Arabia, its women are surprising once again, this time at the women’s SWS-SPRINT Championship.
Yasmin Madani, first place winner
The competition, which was held in Dirab, organized by the FunXtreme Racing Circuit, and sponsored by the Saudi Federation of Motor Vehicles and Motorcycles at the SWS World Championship, was dominated by Saudi women during first round of the competition, as reported by Arab News. The second round saw women from across the Gulf region and beyond competing with each to clinch the title. In first place was Yasmin Madani, who finished with 0.09 ppm, then Amjad Al-Omari in second, and Princess Madawi Al-Saud in third place.
Image via SPA
Speaking to the news site, Sarah Al-Harthi, Director of the Women’s Race Program at FunXtreme circuit, praised the impressive performance and skills of the competition’s drivers, emphasizing that their category of racing is of great importance as any, as it is being held for the first time in Saudi Arabia’s history. Al-Harthi also expressed deep satisfaction with the professional level of the tour, and praised media interest and coverage in the recent series of women’s races to take over the Kingdom. As she explained, media plays a key role in supporting and encouraging the continued participation of Saudi Arabian women not just in motor racing but in all fields.
The lifting of the driving ban on women driving in the Kingdom, which went to effect in June last year, was seen as a historic move that gained overwhelming support not only in the Saudi Arabia but across the globe. Prior to the rescinding of the ban, Saudi women were finding ways to take taking over the streets following the increased relaxing of restrictions on their movements, a phenomenon that has been attributed to the ascension of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. For instance, last year, Saudi Arabia announced its first-ever 10-kilometer cycling race for women, which took place in the Red Sea city of Jeddah as part of the “Be Active” initiative, part of Saudi Arabia’s tribute to World Health Day 2018.