The second day of the FIA Women Cross Country selection taking place today at Sealine started with theoretical instructions and the training process for the 18 participants. During the morning, the participants were divided into driver and co-driver groups, practical training and theory and practice navigation. In the afternoon , they got the first contact with the terrain with the first stage of the program followed by practical training of how to change a tyre.
The general impression for all the participants is very positive and all of them are learning and enjoying this great experience.
QMMF President and FIA Vice President MENA is very happy for the development of the first day at the desert and the experience has been very positive for all the girls ‘Always the first day is the hardest one, and the girls were a little bit worried their first time experience, strong start with the navigation and gps and road book information, it is not easy for the navigation side and also drivers the first time to deal wit this terrain and the dunes, but I think they managed good, some of them get lost at the beginning a little bit but after they start to become relax and more focus and I think that tomorrow it will be more tougher another program will start but for sure they have learnt something and maybe they have to check again for tomorrow, but i am sure the whole atmosphere is good and the progress is moving good and for sure they deserve a good experience here’ said Nasser Khalifa Al Attiyah.
For the instructors, Jutta Kleinschmidt and Fabrizia Pons, the impression with the girls is very satisfactory and was a great day for them.
‘I think it was a big day for the girls already, the good exercise this morning with the practical training and then in the afternoon the real life started and I think that they realize how hard it is . It took much longer that what I expected actually, but I think it was a fantastic experience and we will continue tomorrow very early and I think that it will be a big challenge for them and I think day by day they will learn a lot and we really hope that at the end of the selection they are used to drive in the desert as we want to have them. I am very convinced, as they are very active, they love it, it was a big adventure for them today’ Jutta said.
‘Today it was a very good experience to send 18 persons in the dunes that they never saw in their life before, so it was very good experience for them and very nice feeling for us. because the desert it is very difficult around and either you love it or hate and actually all love it I am very please and of course there are a lot of things normal to learn and hope to have the time to teach everything to them, but very good and positive feeling.’ said Fabrizia Pons.
Emma Gilmour, New Zealand – Driver
‘Today it just been amazing, starting this morning with just doing some basic skills on the sand with Jutta, was just a lot of fun, but then going out this afternoon and actually doing the stage, it gave a new appreciation for how disorientating it is when you are out at the desert, and it is so difficult, a different type of motorsport that I have done but big challenge. First time for me in the desert , the driving was ok, we got stacked in one of the dunes but it was more for the navigation, it is very important for the co-driver, difficult task.
Cristina Gutierrez Herrero, Spain – Driver
The first day it was very adventurous, we got lost a lot of times but I like it. Jutta and Fabrizia tried to explain to us the dunes, we tried our best and it was a good day but tomorrow will be for sure better. It is my first time to drive in the dunes, and it is very different to the other terrains I am used to but I enjoy a lot
Jasmeen Singh Bhandhair, Zambia – Co Driver
It was very interesting, I learn a lot. I found where I was making a lot of mistakes because is my first time using a GPS, in the dessert and in a 4×4 Rally car. Using the GPS I was getting lost because I am not used to the coordinates and didn’t had too much time to go thought the road book, and when we got stucked I didn’t know how to dig out the car but I think that if I practice more with the GPS and following the road book, it will be much easier for me and I really had a good time
Rhianon Gelsomino, Australia – Co Driver
This is my first experience in the sand dunes and I can’t explain it. You get to points that you think that you are in the right place but there is just sand everywhere, there is no one, just dunes, it is very hard even to explain but it is in a real way to explain that you are in the middle of the desert and you think that you cannot find the way to go back but if you think carefully and put everything together , finally you can work out where to go. But definitely it is harder than I expected, I thought there will be more roads that we could follow so coming from a Rally background , this was in the middle of nowhere , no roads only dunes and you have to follow the cap and the road book correctly, if not you become lost. It was harder but we are here to learn and definitely I learn something today.
Jonna Lisa Eson Bradhe, Sweden – Driver
It is all a new experience for me, you have to really read the way you are going , but we had just started today, it was a lot of fun and I hope to learn more tomorrow how to get over the sand and the dunes, really looking forward for tomorrow. I found it harder than I expected , because you as a driver has to have a little of check on the co-driver and work together in a certain way that you might not do in the rally, so it is a quite different but it is a new experience.
Lara Vanneste, Belgium – Co driver
It was my first time in the dune, I have 8 years of experience as co driver but I have never been doing cross country and never in the dunes, and I am really proud of myself and my driver today because we managed quite well, we did it fast, we found all the things. It is just like you have to make a switch in your head and trust with your tools and figure out how they work , it is a lot of fun, it is difficult to express to your driver the directions, don’t put a web cam in the car because it is too funny from the beginning to the end, but it is so much fun and I really enjoyed myself. I just hope we can keep making progress and I Like it, it is something that all of us have to figure out from ourselves because it is so different that just been a rally driver or co driver and now I know I like it and want to experience more.