Such aedrenaline rushes were still unimaginable a few weeks ago: around a Ryad park, Rana Almimoni skids and drifts, engine roaring, tyres screeching and clouds of dust billowing from the back.
For the Saudis, it’s finally time to experience the thrills of speed after lifting the driving ban in June. The passionate were far from thinking one day to indulge in this leisure in an ultraconservative Muslim kingdom that the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman wants to reform.
“I love speed” and “my dream car is more than 500 horsepower,” says Rana Almimoni, 30, a motor racing enthusiast. She says she is now waiting for a decision to allow women to obtain “racing licenses”, which would open the door for motor sport competitions.
For some, the lifting of the driving ban frees women from dependence on drivers. But many of them are still away from the roads. For the moment, most women driving seem to be those who traded a foreign license with a Saudi one after taking a test. Many complain that driving courses are also more expensive than those for men and the lack of female instructors. Although no incidents of harassment have been reported publicly, many women are suspicious of drivers’ sexism and aggression despite warnings from authorities.