Amna Al Qubaisi Breaking All the Barriers with Kart Racing in the Middle East
Amna Al-Qubaisi, 17, takes after her father Khaled Al-Qubaisi who races in the Porsche GT3 Club Challenge. Amna has two goals in her life that she wants to accomplish. Her first goal is to become a Formula One driver, and second, is to become a role model to women all across the Middle East, showing the women there are no barriers for them not to achieve what they want.
Amna remembers going to the races with her sister to cheer on her father and listening to all of his stories of the different races he attended. At age 13 Amna started her racing career at the Damon Speed Academy (DSA) even though no one gave her the time of day in the male-dominated sport.
It was a tough start, Nobody gave me any attention in the beginning and I used that as motivation. Thanks to the DSA I have improved a lot and learnt so much from every race I tackled until I started to compete with the boys and win races Eventually I won the UAE Rotax max Challenge title in my class (senior), Al-Qubaisi said (arabnews.com).
Amna used that motitvation to finish her season off with a total 1,071 points away from her closest competitor Jakob Robinson in the Rotax Max Challenge, the UAE’s national championship. With this championship under her belt, she will be entering the Formula 4 world with the Kaspersky Lab sponsorship to the Prema team. Amna will become the first female Arab Formula 4 driver.
Al-Qubaisi wants to use her move to Formula 4 racing as motivation to the Arab world and other foreigners around the world.
I see myself as a role model but also representing women in a good way. I’m not just representing the UAE but the entire Arab world. I want to show the Arab world and foreigners that we (Arab women) are capable of doing anything. I’m very happy to be the first woman to start racing, and for an Arab woman to race nationally and internationally. It’s a big change and it’s breaking the paradigms and it’s breaking barriers and that’s what we want. We want to make a good cause and something beneficial for the Middle East, Al-Qubaisi said (arabnews.com).
With this in mind, Al-Qubaisi made a hashtag #drivelikeagirl to prove that the stereotyping of women drivers are slow and hesitant is a thing of the past. After finishing in the top five of one of her races in Europe, Al-Qubaisi was told she was one of the fastest on the track from social media.
As UAE’s champion Al-Qubaisi will represent the country in the Rotax Max Grand Finals in Portugal in this coming November.