Wahome makes history by becoming first woman to win WRC3 at Safari Rally

The 26-year-old Kenyan managed to win the WRC’s third category in 25 minutes and 27 seconds, and finished the event 16th overall, one place behind M-Sport Rally1 driver Gus Greensmith.

The event marked exactly one year since the motocross convert started rallying at the Safari Rally.

Wahome’s victory was made even more impressive given that it was his first outing in the M-Sport built Ford Fiesta Rally3 car, having driven a Subaru Impreza N12 in the African Rally Championship.

Wahome finished second behind fellow countryman and Junior WRC regular McRae Kimathi on Friday, but his hopes of a podium finish were thrown into doubt by an ECU problem.

It meant the Wahome had to join the rally under Super Rally rules but was able to drive cleanly through a brutal event, which saw all WRC3 competitors forced to retire at least once, to take the lead on Saturday.

An error-free run through Sunday’s five stages sealed victory for fellow countryman and former British Formula 3 driver BRDC Jeremy Wahome [no relation]while Kimathi sealed an all-Kenyan podium.

“I’m proud and I’m happy to have made history,” Maxine Wahome said when asked about the defining moment.

“It was a big surprise for me. My goal was to learn the car and by learning the car every day I guess I improved my speed and reached the top position. Thursday was the first time I sat in the car.

Wahome Maxine, Waigwa Murage, Ford Fiesta R3

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

“We had an ECU problem that kept failing in the stage, we had to change it and just before we went into service, it failed us again and we had to give up and join .

“We are happy to have retained first place. The whole mission today was to get to the finish and find out more about the car because the gap was already big.

Wahome is expected to stay behind the wheel of the Ford Fiesta Rally3 for further rounds of the African Rally Championship.

About Frances R. Smith

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