As a little girl who grew up in many countries, including Saudi Arabia where it’s illegal for women to drive, Ayesha Chaudhary would spend hours drawing pictures of a woman driving a race car, wearing a helmet. But she didn’t just want to drive, she wanted to race. Given that it’s a male dominated sport and hobby, Ayesha kept this desire a secret – even from her own family. She felt ashamed for wanting to do something that only men did. Fast forward present-day, Ayesha, now a physician (who’s fluent in five languages) and mother of three, hasn’t let go of her race car dream.
For the past 17 months, she has been developing her skills as a high performance road course track driver. Her mantra? Dream big and GO FOR IT! That is her hope for her daughter, for other girls in the Muslim world, and for women who have so much untapped potential. She hopes to prove to women everywhere that it is never too late to pursue your dreams, that strong women do exist in the Muslim world, and lastly, she wants to teach her own sons that strong women are a collaborative force to be respected and partnered with. We couldn’t agree more!
Recently, the Mid-Ohio Region group of the Porsche Club of America (MORPCA) arranged for high-performance club drivers to use the world famous Brickyard course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway from August 21-August 23, 2015. And guess what? Ayesha was picked. Just three days short of her 47th birthday, she and her Spec Miata race car that she calls “Moxie” set off for Indiana and Ayesha became the first-ever Muslim woman to drive the Grand Prix Circuit at Brickyard! In 12 sessions over 3 days, she dropped her lap time by a half-minute. In racing terms, that’s huge! It was her first experience tracking a new course completely solo.
We are thrilled that our Awesome Without Borders grant helped Ayesha tear up the track at Indy. Don’t believe us? Watch this. To keep up with Ayesha, AKA “Fast Driver Mom,” follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and her blog.
You go, girl!