Sis­ters on F1 fast track

Amna and Hamda are tak­ing the kart­ing world by storm

7 Days in Dubai - - SPORT -

It was just three years ago that Khaled Al Qubaisi made his­tory for the UAE when he be­came the first Emi­rati to com­pete at the fa­mous 24 Hours of Le Mans race.

Now it is the 40-year-old’s daugh­ters who are mak­ing head­lines thanks to their ex­cep­tional driv­ing skills.

Both Hamda, 14, and older sis­ter Amna, 16, are ex­celling on the UAE kart­ing scene, reg­u­larly win­ning races in what has of­ten been seen as a male­dom­i­nated sport.

Amna be­came the first Emi­rati fe­male to fin­ish on the podium at the Ro­tax Cham­pi­onship and is keen to pro­mote kart­ing among young women.

“Rac­ing is such a male-dom­i­nated sport that to be the only two Arab fe­males rac­ing pushes us to take our rac­ing fur­ther on the global stage,” said Amna. “In mo­tor­sport, any­thing can hap­pen on the day of the race.

“Fin­ish­ing on the podium felt in­cred­i­ble, and proved to me that the years of hard work and step­ping up for my­self re­ally paid off.

“There may be few women par­tic­i­pat­ing in the sport right now but in kart­ing, ev­ery­body is equal on the track.

“Ev­ery­body faces chal­lenges – any­thing can hap­pen, any­one can win.

“We be­lieve that if you have a dream, you should hold onto it, be brave and try your hard­est. We want to raise more aware­ness about mo­tor­sports and en­cour­age more peo­ple to try it out, es­pe­cially women.” The sis­ters are clearly ded­i­cated to the sport, com­bin­ing their stud­ies with train­ing four days a week. They are de­ter­mined to stay race fit and that means a com­bi­na­tion of weight train­ing, run­ning and CrossFit. But the hard work will be worth it if ei­ther of the duo – who are spon­sored by Huawei – com­plete their ul­ti­mate goal of be­com­ing an F1 driver.

“This sea­son, I re­ally want to work my way up in mo­tor­sports – get onto more podi­ums and rep­re­sent my coun­try at more races,” said Hamda.

“Kart­ing is such an ex­cit­ing sport. Ev­ery day is about train­ing, learn­ing and im­prov­ing to be the best rac­ers we can be.

“It is all about fac­ing new chal­lenges and how well you deal with them. An­other great part about kart­ing is the op­por­tu­nity to travel around the world and meet dif­fer­ent com­peti­tors.

“F1 is an amaz­ing global plat­form for kart­ing, and com­pet­ing on that stage would be an in­cred­i­ble achieve­ment.”

With younger brother Mo­hammed, seven, also ex­celling in kart­ing, the Al Qubaisi fam­ily are a force to be reck­oned with in the world of mo­tor­sport.

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