Nairobi — Having made her rallying debut at the WRC Safari Rally event in Naivasha in 2021, Maxine Wahome sipped the intoxicating feel of wanting to become the best there is in the country.
She had just switched from two wheels, to four, starting off with autocross before the big call to do the Safari came through.
Despite not scoring WRC points, Maxine, navigated by Chantal Young made history, becoming the only all-women crew in the race.
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For her, this taste of the big leagues of rallying planted in her a seed of success in the motorsport world, more so rallying.
“I started off by doing autocross and last year is when I got the chance to do a rally. It was a massive thing for me because all along I knew I wanted to switch to rallying. Competing at the Safari motivated me and is still motivating me,” says Maxine.
“I have always competed against men even when I was doing autocross and that is what birthed the fighting spirit in me.”
“I just want to keep improving and my target is to be up there with the big boys. I know and I believe that O can do it,” she added.
After competing at the Safari, the 27-year old Maxine went on to compete at the Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) with her best finish being a fifth spot placing at the Machakos Rally.
She also went on to compete in the Rwanda leg of the African Rally Championship. She was sixth out of the 11 drivers who completed the demanding rally.
She says she enjoys the switch from autocross to the rally and hopes that day by day she gets better.
“I had to commit a lot because in rally you have to keep your car in shape and commit with fitness and attend each event. That is the only way to improve. Step by step you find yourself growing. Right now I feel I have grown a lot,” Maxine told Capital Sport.
With the experience she has gathered, Maxine now wants to do well this year and has set a target of finishing within the top 10 at the Africa Rally Championship event scheduled for next month in Naivasha, and competing once again in the Safari in July where she targets to finish the race for a second consecutive year.
She will warm up for the ARC Rally with the first ever all-women rally championship organized under the Lionesses Rally Club.
“I am quite excited because we have a first ever women’s rally in Kenya. Women’s rally has been growing and I am excited to be among the line up for this event. It is great to see new people coming and not just the usual faces,” she said.
Being the most experienced and sharp driver in the final entry list of eight, Maxine is expected to easily carry the day. But she does not want her star status to wash over the day.
“That is a surprise. We will just keep it that way,” Maxine said when quizzed on how easy she will take the Sunday morning flag-off.