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JEDDAH: Rally Jameel came to an end on Sunday with Ewelina Chlebowska of Poland and co-driver Hanna Riehle of Germany from Sandstorm Express taking first place in the second edition of the rally in their Toyota FJ Cruiser.

The first world-class navigational rally in the region exclusive for women concluded with all 82 participants safely making it to Al-Qassim, the final stage of the roughly 1,600 km five-day long rally.

Coming in second and third were Camilia Liparoti of Italy and her co-driver Rosa Romero of Spain from CAT Racing in their Toyota Fortuner, and Annie Seel and her colleague Catalina Floberg of Sweden from Seel Motorsport, also in a Toyota Fortuner.

“We congratulate all the brave women who participated in the second edition. This year, the rally attracted 82 participants from 25 countries — showcasing its global appeal and perseverance in cultivating an engaging motorsport experience that brings women together,” said Munir Khoja, managing director of branding, marketing communications and sponsorship at Abdul Latif Jameel Motors.

“Rally Jameel is a shining example of our commitment to support Saudi Arabia’s diversification programs of empowering women, promoting adventure tourism and realizing the Quality of Life Program by integrating sports into society. (The rally’s) success demonstrates how motorsport can be used to inspire.”

Following the success of the first edition last year, this year’s route was extended to around 1,600 km, testing the participant’s precision driving and navigational skills and endurance across the Kingdom’s desert.

Aseel Al-Hamad, the renowned Saudi interior designer, engineer and motorsports enthusiast, said: “This initiative is of great interest to a large segment of women in the Kingdom, as it aims to support and empower women in motorsports. This is what I work tirelessly for as a board member of the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation and as a representative of the Kingdom in the Women in Motorsports Committee in the FIA. 

“Rally Jameel is an excellent first step for girls who want to enter the world of motorsports. In particular, navigational rallies where speed is not the determinant factor but one’s navigational skills are,” she added.

Participants journeyed through some of the Kingdom’s otherworldly terrains, golden desert sands, and most prominent historical and archaeological sites.

These included Elephant Rock, the 52-meter high sandstone monolith that is the most iconic of all the rock formations in AlUla; Jubbah, Hail’s UNESCO world heritage site; the historic A’arif Fort; Nagsh Almalikah, the only rock carving in the region to be found of a woman in statuesque detail; and finally ending in Al-Qassim.

A victorious Riehle said: “We really enjoyed this year’s rally, a key aspect that helped propel us to the top was teamwork. I’m proud to be Ewelina’s co-driver, I feel we demonstrated that with teamwork anything is possible. This is our second time in Rally Jameel, and we are honored to have been crowned champions as a result of our hard work and perseverance.”

This year, the rally also saw an increase in corporate participation to support more teams, creating new opportunities for private sector companies to participate in motorsports as the rally develops new drivers, navigators, and prepares them for future competitions.

Rally Jameel also welcomed the support of 68 seasonal organizing team members. The organizers were selected through Bab Rizq Jameel, part of Community Jameel Saudi, which aims to empower young people with new sources of income.

Rally Jameel is initiated by Abdul Latif Jameel Motors and Bakhashab Motorsports, and is the latest world-class motorsport event hosted in Saudi Arabia sanctioned by the SAMF and supported by the FIA, through their WIMC program.


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