Saudi trailblazer Reema Juffali launches 'Theeba Motorsport', her project to challenge the status quo in motorsport and one day be the first Saudi team at Le Mans.
With her own team, she will compete in her first full campaign in GT3 in International GT Open.
Reema Juffali - the first ever Saudi professional female racing driver - never made any secret of her long term goal: the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
What is certainly a common dream for many racing drivers is increasingly becoming a realistic achievement for Juffali, who is making an extra step towards her goal by launching her own racing team.
30 year-old Juffali started her racing career relatively late, obtaining her racing licence in 2017, as her country lifted a ban on women driving. Since then, she went for the hard-but-rewarding route: Juffali moved to the UK, where she started racing in British Formula 4 - going against some highly competitive teams and drivers. After two seasons in F4 - and with several top 10 finishes - Juffali stepped up to British F3, then rebranded GB3, where she was protagonist of a strong campaign that included a fourth place at Silverstone.
In January 2022, Juffali made her GT3 debut at the 24 Hours of Dubai. With an outstanding performance, Reema brought home a second place in class - and has since then focused her efforts in GT and endurance racing.
Less than a month ago, she was at the start of the 2022 GT Open season in Estoril, Portugal - and the Saudi racer made headlines once again: with two GT3 ProAm victories and an overall podium, Reema Juffali showed she has what it takes to make it big in the competitive world of GT racing. And, indeed, keeping her Le Mans dream alive.
Today, Reema Juffali announced the launch of her own racing team, Theeba Motorsport, which will compete in the International GT Open championship in 2022.
The team, as it states, "aspires to improve the Kingdom’s access to motorsport by providing a space to learn and participate through a variety of educational opportunities and programmes."
As its mission quotes, Theeba Motorsport also aims to improve opportunities, representation, diversity and inclusion in motor racing - as it shares its roots with the career of its groundbreaking founder.
“Theeba is a name that was essentially created for me by my friends when I was still at school,” explains Reema through her team's website.
“When you’re a kid, you might get up to all sorts of mischief and if you do something cool, you might be called something like an animal or a beast by your friends.
If I was in that situation like that, my friends would call me ‘Theeb’ but within that context, the word is male. There was no female equivalent."
“They then started to call me ‘Theeba’ instead and created this word for me."
The term roughly translates to she-wolf and represents a spirit willing to explore the limits and break the mould.
“I forgot about the name for a time but when I started racing full-time, I remembered it again", Juffali explains. "Since then, I’ve carried it along with me and Theeba Motorsport feels like the perfect name for our mission to elevate motorsport talent in Saudi - it embodies what we want to achieve as a team."
With Theeba Motorsport, Reema wants to inspire the next generation of Saudi talents, as well as challenging the status quo in motorsport.
The team's ambition is to contest the most famous endurance race in the world under a Saudi Arabian licence.
The team will line up a Mercedes AMG GT3 EVO in the International GT Open championship for its two drivers, Reema Juffali and Adam Christodoulou. The car is powered by a naturally aspirated 6.3L V8 engine which combines performance and reliability.
After the highly-successful opening round at Estoril, Juffali and Christodoulou are ready to tackle the next GT Open race meeting, which is scheduled for this weekend (20-22 May) at Circuit Paul Ricard, in the South of France.