Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - It’s easy to take driving for granted; we get behind the wheel, adjust the mirrors, turn the key and away we go.

Now consider the case of a racing driver who has competed all over the world, who sits on the board of her national motorsport federation, and is a serving member of an International Automobile Federation commission, yet has never driven a car on street or track in her home country.

Meet Aseel Al Hamad, interior design engineer, international racing driver, Ferrari 458 owner, the first female board member of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation and the Saudi Arabian representative on the FIA’s Women in Motorsport Commission.

She’s driven a Renault E20 Formula One car at Paul Ricard but the proudest day of her life - and a visibly emotional one - came on 24 June, the day the ban on women drivers in Saudi Arabia was lifted, and Jaguar Land Rover customer experience director Fiona Pargeter took her out to the Reem International Motorsport complex near Riyadh and put her behind the wheel of a F-Type for her very first lap of her home circuit.

Pargeter called for 24 June to be known as World Driving Day, and invited people to share an image or a story of their best driving moment using #WorldDrivingDay, to commemorate what this day means to women and to Saudi Arabia.

As part of its ongoing work with more than 40 universities around the world on future mobility solutions, the company will also be partnering with the Prince Sultan University in Riyadh to join this global network, tapping into the brightest young minds in Saudi Arabia to help shape the future of transport.

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IOL Motoring