Women have only been legally allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia since June of 2018, but now that they are in the driver’s seat they are quickly been making up for lost time. Now, we can add Reema Juffali, 27, to the list as she sets out to become the first Saudi woman to compete in an international racing series in the Kingdom.
Juffali, already Saudi Arabia’s first professional female racer, has already begun making a name for herself by making appearances in the Formula 4 British Championship. Now, she’s adding to her repertoire by joining Jaguar Racing as the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY VIP driver as the series prepares for its first race of the season in Diriyah.
Because British F4 is considered a ‘national’ series rather than an international one (even though people from all around the world can compete), her debut as an eTROPHY driver will make her the first ever Saudi Arabian woman to compete in an international racing series—and the first to do so on Saudi Arabian soil.
???????? Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome @ReemaJuffali ????
Reema will join us next week as the @Jaguar #IPACE #eTROPHY VIP driver - making history as the first Saudi Arabian woman to compete in an International Racing Series in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia!#FearlessProgress ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/FjjuA6Q7nX
— Jaguar Racing (@JaguarRacing) November 11, 2019
The Jaguar I-PACE eTrophy is Formula E’s support series. She joins other names like Alice Powell as a VIP driver, so-called because she isn’t contesting the entire season.
An electric SUV is a massively different machine to conquer than an open-wheel feeder car, and Juffali has expressed a little surprise at her practice runs in the I-PACE. It will be interesting watching her compete against some of the series’—and even racing’s—seasoned veterans. After all, she only has about a year of racing experience under her belt.