What you need to know:
- She was not without problems as she suffered mechanical problems on Friday in the control unit fault but restarted on Saturday.
- Her teammates too had mechanical problems.
- Hamza Anwar threatened to break her stride and claimed back over two and a half minutes yesterday morning, but he retired with two stages remaining.
Maxine Wahome and her family were over the moon after she became the first Kenyan woman to score points in the World Rally Championship-supported junior category by winning the WRC3 category for drivers aged 27 and below.
An alumna of St Christopher High School and Kyota Korean Montessori where she qualified with a diploma as an early learning teacher, Maxine earned maximum 25 points in the R3 category of the world championship, another first for a female drive after planning her game plan well right from the beginning despite never having driven the Ford Fiesta R3 car before the Safari.
“My goal was just to learn the car and day by day improve my speed,” she said at the finish.
“Wednesday was my first time in the car. I normally drive a Subaru Impreza N12. The only testing I got with the car was on tarmac in Southern bypass, which is completely different from the Safari.
“The mission today was to make it through the stages slow and steady to get it to the finish and learn more about the car. The gap was already big,” she added.
“First of all I want to encourage more women take up rallying. It is women empowerment. My next target is focusing on Africa Championship and see how far I can go,” she added in the post-event press conference.
“I am humbled and proud,” said her father, Jimmy Wahome, also a former rally driver.
“I am so excited. I give the glory to the Lord… it was his hand at work. It is glory for the sponsors, fans and Kenyan people," said her mother Bev Wahome.
“She asked me this morning to pray for her because she was nervous. I told her that it will be fine, and nervousness is not part of her DNA.
”After yesterday’s first stage Oserian was cancelled, the 26-year-old drove carefully in Narasha and Hell’s Gate to stop the clock some 25 minutes and 27 seconds ahead of second-placed Jeremy Wahome.
McRae Kimathi, who has been competing in the World Rally Championship, finished 25 minutes in third place after rejoining the rally yesterday following mechanical problems the previous day.
Maxine's winning performance was made all the more impressive by the fact she had never driven the Fiesta car on gravel prior to the start.
She was not without problems as she suffered mechanical problems on Friday in the control unit fault but restarted on Saturday.
Her teammates too had mechanical problems.
Hamza Anwar threatened to break her stride and claimed back over two and a half minutes yesterday morning, but he retired with two stages remaining.