02:12 GMT20 April 2021
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    • A Saudi female rally driver, Dania Akeel, sits in her T1-Buggy during the first stage of the Sharqiyah International Baja 2021 Rally, in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, 4 March 2021.
    • A handout picture provided by Sharqiyah International Baja Toyota on 4 March 2021 shows Saudi driver Dania Akeel, the first-ever Saudi woman to compete in an international rally, waving next to her vehicle in Saudi Arabia.
    • Saudi female rally drivers Mashael Nasser AlObaidan and Dania Akeel pose for a photo next to their buggies during the first stage of the Sharqiyah International Baja Rally, in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, 5 March 2021.
    • A handout picture provided by Sharqiyah International Baja Toyota on 4 March 2021 shows Saudi rider Dania Akeel, the first ever Saudi woman to compete in an international rally, talking to event staff in Saudi Arabia.
    • A Saudi female rally driver, Mashael Nasser AlObaidan, poses for a photo next to her T3-Buggy during the first stage of the Sharqiyah International Baja Rally, in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, 5 March 2021.
    • A Saudi female rally driver, Dania Akeel, and her co-driver, Laurent Lichtleuchter, sit in her T1-Buggy during the first stage of the Sharqiyah International Baja Rally, in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, 4 March 2021.
    • Saudi female rally drivers, Mashael Nasser AlObaidan and Dania Akeel, pose for a photo next to their buggies during the first stage of the Sharqiyah International Baja Rally, in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, 5 March 2021.
    © REUTERS / Hamad I Mohammed
    A Saudi female rally driver, Dania Akeel, sits in her T1-Buggy during the first stage of the Sharqiyah International Baja 2021 Rally, in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, 4 March 2021.

    For the first time in the Sharqiyah International Baja Rally's history, four women have participated in the competition. This has been a breakthrough for the country’s oldest motorsport event.

    Female drivers have been rare in motorsports for decades. The first woman to challenge male racers was Maria Teresa de Filippis. She first participated in Formula One in 1958, and then raced in five grand prix.

    Things have significantly changed since, with female Saudi racers hurtling through the Arabian Desert and running over stereotypes. 

    Sputnik has selected a series of images portraying Saudi female racers getting ready for a true motorsport experience.

    Tags:
    auto rally, racing cars, motorsport, Saudi Arabia
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