Riyadh: Saudi motorsports star Falah Al-Jarba said Saudi Arabia is holding events for motorsports on a scale that has never been seen before. Al-Jarba, the latest guest on the “Mayman Show,” said: “We’re now working on a big motor festival. You’ve seen the changes in Saudi, and now Saudi is having more than one international motorsports [event] in the same season, which didn’t happen anywhere else.”
The professional racer explained that changes to the Kingdom’s motorsports scene were years in the making, before 2018, when Formula E was held in Diriyah.
“People think that 2018 was the first change where we got Formula. But you know that this had to be cooked for two years, three years, minimum to have it.”
It all started with the Formula E event, he explained. Then came the Dakar Rally, which is the longest international rally — famous for also being the most difficult — and has now exclusively been held in Saudi Arabia for 10 years.
Al-Jarba and his team have worked on various aspects in motorsports, from racing to influencing the sport at the grassroots level. He began as a racer, expanding to team owner and further broadening his experience as a championship organizer.
Addressing the difficulties in securing sponsors, he talked about the public misconception that sponsors line up to knock at racers’ doors if they win a race.
“Corporates would never go just for the winner if you couldn’t fulfill their [key performance indicators] at the end…It always comes back to numbers,” he said.
Regarding the Kingdom’s strides in the field, Al-Jarba said that Saudi Arabia was now in a “golden age” for motorsports.
“The first electric rally…started in early NEOM. This is the first rally to be ever held in the world that started from Saudi,” he said.