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Women racers` cars not up to speed

Aug. 9, 2010 2:16 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 1, 2010 2:52 P.M.)
By Razan Salameh

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Six female racers competed against their male counterparts on Saturday at the Bethlehem round of races, but cars unfit for the race marred the chance of three others to compete.

Speed Sisters’ captain Suna Oweida from Jerusalem was not among the competitors this time round, as her car was in need of repair. “I’m not sad or disappointed because I didn’t compete this time,” Oweida told Ma’an as she cheered on her all-women team. “My car is broken, and I tried my best to fix it but couldn't.”

Her car's handbrake broke last month in Ramallah during a speed test, and although Oweida purchased a new one from Jordan in order to compete, it was not compatible. She thought of bringing in a new car, but she said it was too late to enter the competition.

Oweida, who is used to coming first place, said she needed a sponsor able to outfit her car to racing standards. “The [Palestine Motorsport] federation’s car is as good as any normal car but it’s not really suitable for speed races; racers can’t drift in it.”

She thanked the rental car company Dalet Al-Barakeh for sponsoring her. The company was prepared to offer her a new car to compete in, but “none could make it at the speed,” she said.

British Consulate Political Consul Karen McLuskie, who heads the UK-sponsored women’s racing project in Palestine, said that “the federation’s car is dead,” and the women’s team needed better cars for speed races.

“I think that next year will be the Speed Sisters’ year. They will show more power and more ladies will join the team,” McLuskie told Ma’an.

McLuskie said the PMF should work on new projects because more racers would be interested in competing who can’t afford to bring in the right car needed for the speed trials.

Holding a copy of British magazine LOOK, which featured a story on the Speed Sisters, McLuskie said, “I’m so proud of these ladies who have showed power and competed with men and got high scores.”

She added that she was not disappointed that Oweida was unable to compete, and said, “I can see her happy to encourage the other racers and support them, proving herself to be a true captain.”
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