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Reema Juffali to race in Jeddah as first F1 Academy wild Card

Reema Juffali - the first Saudi female driver to ever hold a racing license - is set to join the F1 Academy field in her home race in Jeddah as the first series' wild card.


Reema Juffali, Theeba Motorsport
Photo credits: Stephen Fisher / www.xynamic.com

Saudi racing star Reema Juffali will make a wild card appearance on the F1 Academy grid at the upcoming Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, joining team champions Prema Racing at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

The F1-promoted all-female championship had in fact previously announced that in its sophomore year, the series would open to wild cards at select races.


The concept is designed to identify female athletes for specific weekends and specific regions, in order to promote local talents and support local development of the sport. Wild cards will be eligible to score points for the drivers' championship.


“It is an honour and a privilege to be representing my country, especially in my hometown,” said Juffali. “The day F1 arrived in Jeddah was the clash of both my worlds and now I am actually going to be participating! I’m really looking forward to it and happy to share the experience with my friends and family who are based here."


Reema Juffali made history in 2018, as she became the first woman from her country to hold a racing license. Juffali moved to the UK to develop her racing skills and entered the British F4 championship in 2019, where she scored ten top-10 finishes and made big progress throughout her rookie season.


In the same year, she wrote another chapter of motorsport history for her country: as Formula E visited Riyadh, she entered the support series Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY and became the first Saudi woman to compete on home soil.

Juffali continued her F4 progression with a dual F4UAE and British F4 campaign in 2020; she scored a top five in the Emirati series, and showed big progress in the UK alike.


In 2021, Juffali stepped up to British F3 - then renamed GB3 Championship. While it was another learning season, she scored a breakthrough fourth place at Silverstone, having just missed out on a historic podium. Her participation at the 2021 Dubai 24H was another milestone in her career, as she made her GT racing debut with a podium finish in her first ever endurance race.


Sportscars would in fact prove to be a great platform for Juffali, who launched her own racing team: the groundbreaking Theeba Motorsport was born. The project is aimed at improving opportunities, representation, diversity and inclusion in motor racing – values close to its groundbreaking founder's heart.


Juffali entered her team in International GT Open, won at debut at Estoril, Portugal, and claimed more GT3 ProAm wins at Le Castellet and Red Bull Ring. She would eventually finish second in the championship standings, with six podiums and four class wins. This achievement made Reema the first Saudi woman to win an international motorsport event.


Just one year into her new journey, she made another big leap and signed up for GT World Challenge Europe - one of the top GT3 championships in the world. The Saudi driver/owner proved to be up to the task and established herself as one of the best female bronze-rated drivers. She claimed a pole position at Hockenheim and her first class podium at Valencia.


A driver with experience of both single seaters and sportscars, Reema Juffali is one of Saudi Arabia's top athletes globally in the world of motor racing - and has been ambassador for the F1 GP in her country in the previous editions.


“As the saying goes: ‘if you can’t see it, you won’t believe it’. So, hopefully Saudi fans can see that there is a Saudi racing driver out there and it will get them to thinking that ‘this is something I can do!’. It is for this reason I have decided to take this challenge on", Juffali added. "This is just the beginning!”


F1 Academy will host a collective test this week at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, ahead of the season opener on March 8-9. 

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