South Racing Middle East’s Mashael Al-Obaidan finishes her first ever European event in Spain

24.07.2021: Baja Spain Aragon – July 23-24, 2021 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas, round 5 Meshaal Al-Obaidan became the first Saudi Arabian female driver to complete a European Baja round, when she and Emirati co-driver Ali Mirza safely guided the


Baja Spain Aragon – July 23-24, 2021   
FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas, round 5

  Meshaal Al-Obaidan became the first Saudi Arabian female driver to complete a European Baja round, when she and Emirati co-driver Ali Mirza safely guided their South Racing Middle East Can Am Maverick to the finish of the two-day Baja Spain Aragon on Saturday.
 

Al-Obaidan had taken part in national-status events and Bajas in her native Saudi Arabia beforehand, but adapted well to the demanding challenge of the Spanish terrain to finish eighth in the FIA T3 category on the fifth round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas. Her feat also marked the first time that a South Racing Middle East-entered vehicle had taken part in an international race in Europe.
 
South Racing Middle East's Mashael Al-Obaidan finishes her first ever European event in Spain Al-Obaidan overcame the treacherously muddy conditions and a difficult water splash on day one and the heat and dust of more open and rocky rural terrain on day two to reach the finish in a time of 9hr 27min 45sec.

Experienced Spaniard Roberto Rodrigues won the FIA T3 category from Ronald Basso and Santiago Navarro.
 
South Racing Middle East’s Scott Abraham said:
“This was a great debut for Mashael. It was her first international event out of the Middle East region.

She showed her skill and it was a definite positive step on her road to Dakar.”
 
South Racing Middle East's Mashael Al-Obaidan finishes her first ever European event in Spain Competition began with an opening selective section of 180km. Roberto Rodrigues set the early pace on a stage where Al-Obaidan was classified in 11th. “It was a completely new landscape for me,” said Al-Obaidan, who finished the demanding opening stage in two-wheel drive after a transmission issue. “I am familiar with the dunes but I learned a lot and had so much fun.”
 

The second leg was split into two selective sections of 112.91km and 208.36km. Rodrigues continued to dominate the FIA T3 section and increased his advantage over Enrique Reyes, as Al-Obaidan finished the second section in 11th place to hold ninth overall.
  “The first part of the second day was way easier with no mud and no water,” said Al-Obaidan. “The car was perfect.

The stage was rough and destructive where we had a lot of rocks.”
  She held it together over the closing kilometres of the third stage to record the 10th quickest time to seal eighth place.
  Additional support for South Racing Middle East came from Method Wheels, Tensor Tires, Motul, Bell, Lazer and OMP.
 

2021 Baja Spain Aragon – FIA T3 result (unofficial)

1. Roberto Rodrigues (ESP)/Herman Rodrigues (ESP) Can-Am Maverick                                    7hr 13min 14sec

2. Ronald Basso (FRA)/Jean-Pierre Garcin (FRA) Can-Am Maverick                                                            7hr 26min 00sec

3. Santiago Navarro (ESP)/Sergi Brugue (ESP) Overdrive OT3                                                        7hr 38min 29sec

4. Enrique Reyes (ESP)/Daniel Conde (ESP) VM Competicion Can-Am Maverick                                       7hr 42min 41sec

8. Meshael Al-Obaidan (SAU)/Ali Mirza (ARE) South Racing ME Can-Am Maverick                                 9hr 27min 45sec Neil Perkins – photos Baja Spain
 
 

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