Saudi Woman Racer Takes Jaguar F-Type for Historic Lap to Celebrate Driving Ban Lift

Original article appeared on The Drive | June 25, 2018 | Natalie Abruzzo

Aseel Al-Hamad and Jaguar combined forces to commemorate the historic day and announced June 24, World Driving Day.

It was a momentous day for women in Saudi Arabia Sunday as the decades-old ban on women driving was lifted indefinitely by order of royal decree.

As part of the celebration, Saudi woman racer Aseel Al-Hamad joined forces with Jaguar to pilot a historic lap behind the wheel of an F-Type coupe in her home country. This commemorated the reversal of the ban on female drivers and declared June 24, World Driving Day according to a press release.

World Driving Day is a global program inviting men and women to celebrate the joy of driving.

Al-Hamad is the first female board member of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation and serves as the Saudi Arabian representative for the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission, but she had never driven on a track in her home country before.

“Having loved cars since I was a child, today is highly emotional for me. This is the best driving moment of my life. What better way to kick off World Driving Day than a lap of honor in my home country in a Jaguar F-Type—the ultimate car to roar around the track,” Al-Hamad said in a press release. “I hope people around the world will share in our joy today by sharing their most memorable driving story using #worlddrivingday.”

People on Twitter participated in the day by using the hashtag #worlddrivingday.

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Jaguar wants to encourage people to remember the historic day and what it means to women, to Saudi Arabia, and to world progress in general. The automotive brand currently works with more than 40 universities and academic institutions around the world on future mobility solutions. It plans to partner with universities in Saudi Arabia to join this global network.

The partnership, to be announced later this year, will tap into the brightest young minds in Saudi Arabia to shape the company’s future innovations as it moves to ACES (an Autonomous, Connected, Electrified and Shared future).

“It’s easy to forget and take for granted the enjoyment of driving and just what a privilege it is to get behind the wheel of a car. World Driving Day is a commitment from Jaguar to celebrate this key moment annually for both men and women,” said Jaguar Land Rover Customer Experience Director, Fiona Pargeter in a press release.

“This year, we’re really excited to collaborate with the brilliant students from Saudi Arabia to shape the future of mobility for people around the world,” Pargeter added.

The video shows the raw emotion Al-Hamad felt after completing the lap for the first time at Reem International Circuit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

“If you can dream, you can always achieve your dreams. And I hope I can inspire the women around the world to always follow their dreams.”