Reema Juffali Logo

Reema’s view: Post season recap

November 17, 2022
2022 Season

With several non-finishes, countless hours of work and even a race withdrawal, the team still managed to bring home an impressive runner-up spot in the International GT Open’s Pro-Am championship. Nearly one month on since the close of the season, Reema sits down to discuss the challenges, her learnings and what’s next for Theeba Motorsport.

Q: Second in your debut season in the International GT Open’s Pro-Am class! How does it feel? Has it sunk in yet? What were our immediate thoughts after crossing the finish line?

“When I crossed the line, I was just happy to know we were on the podium, but I didn’t know where we were in the championship. Then someone said over the radio, ‘we’re second’.Instantly I was in disbelief. I was so proud. At first, the championship was possible but difficult, and then after our non-finishes, we thought second was going to be hard as well, but when I heard the news, it really felt like we won. We’d overcome so much adversity and it was just such a good feeling.”

Q: It hasn’t all been smooth sailing. There have been several accidents, a few retirements and the team even had to withdraw from the Monza weekend. How did you find the strength to get back up after being knocked back so many times? Did you find it mentally challenging? How did you work to motivate your team and push them to keep fighting?

“For me this year, with not just being a driver but also being a team owner, there is so much more to deal with.There’s so much more to plan, especially when an accident happens.  

“When I had any accident, I allowed myself to be frustrated and annoyed. Racing means so much and sometimes, you need to accept that it doesn't go your way. To accept that I need to be able to express that.

“On the other hand, even when I am a bit upset, I know I have the right team around me. Especially in the difficult times, you know you're in good hands when everyone in the garage is still working and is happy and wants to be there. In those moments you can help redirect your energy and focus on the next race.

“Being ruled out of a race weekend is not something I've dealt with before and I hope I don't have to deal with it again. But it just comes to a point where there's only so much that you can do. Having to withdraw from Monza was hard, but it has made me stronger. I realise now that dealing with all the emotion has made me a well-rounded driver but experiencing such a low also makes winning and the highs really high too.”


Q: Now you’ve completed the season, what’s been your standout highlight of the championship?

“I would say there's two. The first was our first race. It was everyone's first weekend and we no expectations as to where we would be. We knew we had pace, but we didn't know what the outcome would be. To get pole position in our first weekend was a massive moment because we couldn't have scripted it. I just thought, ‘woah, we're doing this and we're not only doing it, but we’re also crushing it’, which was super cool.

“Obviously the second moment was the last race, knowing that we managed to secure second given all of the adversity, all of the non-finishes and DNFs. There were tears in a few eyes. Even though we hadn’t won, we had managed to overcome a lot to get second.”

Q: What’s been your biggest learning curve?

“There have been a few, but I think one of them is not approaching a weekend with certain expectations. Focusing on how we can improve the setup of the car during testing and free practice sessions was crucial. We knew what we needed from the car, but the focus on setup was something that I hadn't done in the past.

“I think communication has been a key learning curve. How to communicate with my team, to get the best out of the car and from myself. I also didn’t know much about this championship or GT3racing until we started competing. The basics of the strategy, penalties and pitstopsI learnt as we went through the season.”

Q: What advice would you give to someone looking to start a racing team?

“I would say it’s crucial to have the right people in your team. Having experts you can trust allows you to focus on your strengths. But also realising that while something may be new for you, it’s their day-to-day, so trusting that they’re capable. I wouldn’t have been able to put this team together if I didn’t meet the right people to set it up. But I’ve learnt that there are certain qualities that make a good team which are communication, structure, accountability, and leading by example.”

Back to News
No items found.