Maxine Wahome: Profile Of The First Kenyan Female Driver To Win WRC_3 Safari Rally

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Maxine Wahome: Profile Of The First Kenyan Female Driver To Win WRC_3 Safari Rally
Maxine Wahome Photocredit/Courtesy

Maxine Wahome, a female rally driver made history after she won the World Rally Championships-3 (WRC-3) category in the Safari Rally event held in Naivasha 26.06.22.

Wahome alongside her navigator Murage Waigwa stormed to victory beating second placed Jeremy Wahome by 25 minutes and 27 seconds. It was a major feat for Maxine who was the only female rally driver from Kenya in the Naivasha event.

I’ve learnt a lot from it, I’m happy I won. I’m excited,” an elated Wahome said after the historic victory.

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Former President Uhuru Kenyatta congratulated the 26 year old assured and her of his support. He said Wahome had proved that motorsport competitions are not only meant for men.

I want to congratulate our very own Maxine Wahome. You have proved that the world of motorsport is not the world of men but mankind. We congratulate you as the WRC category 3 and promise you our continued support,” said Uhuru.

Maxine Wahome background and career 

According to Wahome, her love for motorsport is out of influence from her family members. She has perfectly taken after her dad, Jimmy Wahome who is former rally driver and one of her cousin who participated in motocross (bike competition).

“I decided to join motorsports because it is in the family. My dad used to rally and my cousin does bike, so I fell in love,” she says.

At a tender age of 12, Wahome began practising with motocross bikes and was in the sport for over a decade. She reveals that she has never suffered any major injury because participants always don protective gear.

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In 2020, she broke the ice and decided to transition to motorsport. It was something that would be very different from the two-wheelers.

Basically, for the two wheels, it was just my dad and I. We would be able to handle everything but with the four wheels you need a full team; from mechanics to logistics to me and my navigator, ” she said in a past interview.

Difficult beginning

However, the beginning was quite difficult as her Subaru N12 car was a complete shell. She had to overhaul it at a colossal amount. It was her undaunted spirit that managed to conquer demoralizing sentiments from people who told her the sport is exclusive to men.

“It was hard in the beginning but eventually I got used to it. Some people told me this sports is for guys but if you really want it you will do it and you will push it to the end,” she said in an interview.

Wahome’s most frustrating event was in Uganda where she suffered a major blow that left one of her car tires come off. Being a greenhorn, her major focus was to complete the races and keep building on her experience.

2022 Naivasha Rally 

In this year’s Naivasha rally, Wahome drove a Ford Fiesta R3 for the first time in her career. She had only gone for a tarmacked road test with the car but the acid test would come on a rough terrain.

Wahome was sponsored by telecommunications giant, Safaricom PLC. Despite winning the WRC_3 category, she was ranked 17th overall which was within her ambition of getting in the top 20.

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