ACE racers Carina Abdulrahman and Sahar Darwaa of Team Bahrain 41 hope to inspire and rally more women onto the motor sporting track as well as the off-road circuit, writes Mai Al-Khatib Camille.
The driven duo has returned from their Rally Jameel Saudi Arabian racing debut with more motivation to get behind the wheel in future competitions such as the Hail Toyota International Rally that takes place usually in the neighbouring country sometime in December.
In the meantime, the speed squad is thrilled to have represented the kingdom in the second edition of the all-female Off-Road Navigation Rally in Saudi, going up against 86 drivers in 43 teams from 25 countries.
“It was amazing,” said 38-year-old Bahraini-British Carina from Riffa, who is also a horse trainer and instructor for private clients. “Overall we were placed 17th, which is great. It was Sahar’s first-ever rally and first time to navigate and she did an amazing job.”
Bahraini Sahar started dabbling in motorsport racing in 2006 and was recruited by her teammate for an All-Female Racing Team starting with karting and then various events held at the Bahrain International Circuit. This was her first experience as a co-driver.
“As a team we worked well because we know each other and can be the voice of reason for each other when we need it,” Carina added.
“We were the only Bahraini team and our car carried Bahrain’s flag, which is an honour.
“We wanted to do this for Bahrain and all the women that live here. As a team it was our first event, but it will not be our last. I would like to thank Bahrain Motor Federation for approaching us with this opportunity and Rally Jameel for their initiative as well as for running this kind of an event. There is nothing a woman cannot do!”
The roughly 1,600km five-day rally started from AlUla on March 7 and ended at Hail AlQassim on March 11. The first desert stage started on March 8, which was International Women’s Day.