RIYADH: Saudi racer Mashael Alobeidan has said that her promising finish in the Hail Rally has played an important role in her preparations for next year’s iconic Dakar Rally.
Alobeidan finished second in the T3 category and 12th in the general standings.
She said: “My experience was amazing because the terrain was good and I have learned a lot from it. The Dakar Rally will be launched in a few weeks, and I have got huge support from the people of Hail, which helped me to achieve success.
“The terrain was tough during the first day, but was good and even beautiful on the second day. The third day was the most enjoyable for me, and the fourth day was characterized by too many holes, which was why my strategy differed.”
Alobeidan said that rally races require specific strategies around speed — something that she successfully mastered during the Hail event.
She added that the Hail International Rally was “the best way” to prepare for Dakar, which she is looking forward to taking part in.
Alobeidan began her sporting career as a football player and scuba diver before turning to racing after she obtained a motorcycle driving license in 2013 in the US.
Her beginnings were in Al-Thumamah in Riyadh, where her father taught her how to drive. In addition, she used to play football at university, and in 2010 played in matches against UAE and Bahraini clubs.
Alobeidan was pursuing a master’s degree at a US university when she heard of the Dakar Rally, eventually setting the goal of taking part in the race, which she will achieve next year.
She previously won the title at the 2020 Sharkiyah Rally, and placed seventh in the World Championship in Spain.
Alobeidan said that she wants to continue racing and aims to develop her performance so that she can challenge top competitors.
She trains four hours a day, three days per week in Dubai, Qasim and Hail.