Need for Speed: Reem AlAboud, Racecar Driver

Reem AlAboud has been creating waves in the world of Racing, being the only woman representing Saudi Arabia at the IAME series.

Reem shares the early days of her relationship with racing, “My passion for motorsports started with me being a car enthusiast; moreover, my father himself used to be a drag racer, and he enjoyed tuning cars which triggered my interest and love for the sport.” Reem took her first shot on the asphalt track by participating in a Saudi Women Karting Championship, which was being held then for the first time in Saudi Arabia.

It was after that, that a race driver named Mahmoud Abed started to coach and train me. He nominated me to be part of the GCC Young Drivers Academy in Bahrain through the Saudi Arabian Motorsports Federation. He also allowed me to join the intense training program by Nissan, which was supervised by Captain Saeed AlMouri. It granted me the pleasure and honor of becoming the first Saudi racing driver ever to test the Formula E Gen 2 car on an international circuit.”

As a racer, Reem picked up on a few lessons, which she said impacted her life both on the track and off, “The one thing that I have learned in racing are you either go big or go home; if you’re not willing to give it your all, during the minutes or hours you’re on track, there is no point in racing. Milliseconds matter on the track, so performing with all your heart and mind guarantees good results.”

“I have learned to focus on myself, to worry only about myself, and to stay as calm as possible throughout my races. This helped me go on track with the right mindset to race safely, enjoy it, and win races.” Reem has developed a method to how she approaches every race, emphasizing the importance of preparation and going in with the right state of mind, “I usually like to do my homework before going on to a new track; memorizing the new track and learning the do’s and don’ts to get good lap times is crucially important to me. As I mentioned previously, I like to go into a race with a calm mindset. Therefore, putting my headphones on, listening to music, and having a clear mind is what motivates me before a race,” she said.

Regarding her thoughts on the sport, she said, “Many women from Saudi Arabia have excelled in this field, we have Saudi women racing in single-seaters, international Rally races, track racing, and karting. Thanks to the Saudi Arabian Motorsport Federation and to the Ministry of Sports, women are able to embrace their passion and succeed in various fields, whether it is Motorsports or any other sport.”

What does a day in the life of a race car driver look like?
“I usually go to the track when the sun is about to set, I prepare my kart and make sure it’s ready to be driven, I check my Mychron battery, the engine’s battery, fuel, radiator, and the last thing I usually do is lube the chain. When the kart is ready, I go down for sessions to compete with other drivers, even if it wasn’t an official race, this helps us overcome our fear of pushing to the limit, and overtaking drivers ahead. Since you cannot afford to make mistakes in an actual race, these practices allow us to make mistakes and learn from them.”

Instagram: reemthamerr

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