Wahome makes history as first female WRC3 winner at Safari Rally

Maxine Wahome has made history by becoming the first woman to win a round in the World Rally Championship’s WRC3 class at Safari Rally Kenya.

Wahome makes history as first female WRC3 winner at Safari Rally

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

The event marked exactly a year since the motocross convert took up rallying at the Safari Rally.

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

Wahome ended Friday sitting in second position behind countryman and Junior WRC regular McRae Kimathi, but her hopes of a podium were thrown into doubt by an ECU issue.

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

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

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

“It was a big surprise for me. My goal was to learn the car and by learning the car each day I guess I improved on my speed a made it to first position. Thursday was my first time sitting in the car.

Wahome Maxine, Waigwa Murage, Ford Fiesta R3

Wahome Maxine, Waigwa Murage, Ford Fiesta R3

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

“We had an ECU issue that kept faulting in the stage we had to change it and just before we got into service it failed on us again and we had to retire and rejoin. 

“We are happy we still kept the first place. The whole mission today was to make it to the finish and learn about the car because the gap was already big.”

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

shares
comments
WRC Safari Rally: Rovanpera wins as Toyota scores 1-2-3-4
Previous article

WRC Safari Rally: Rovanpera wins as Toyota scores 1-2-3-4

Next article

Rovanpera: Safari Rally win the "hardest" of my WRC career

Rovanpera: Safari Rally win the "hardest" of my WRC career
Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2022 Plus

Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2022

The World Rally Championship welcomed in a new hybrid era in 2022, presenting an unknown challenge to the planet's top rally aces. New records were broken, as Toyota's leading charge became the youngest-ever title-winner, while familiar returning faces mixed it up with the new generation. Autosport picks out the 10 best performers from the year

WRC
Dec 5, 2022
The key steps on Rovanpera's romp to a history-making WRC title Plus

The key steps on Rovanpera's romp to a history-making WRC title

With only cameo roles played by legendary Sebastiens Ogier and Loeb, Kalle Rovanpera ushered in the new hybrid era for the World Rally Championship by becoming its youngest champion. Here's how Toyota's Flying Finn crushed the competition, led by Hyundai's departing star Ott Tanak

WRC
Dec 1, 2022
How trailblazer Kalle Rovanpera has ripped up the WRC record book Plus

How trailblazer Kalle Rovanpera has ripped up the WRC record book

At the tender age of 22, Kalle Rovanpera is redefining what’s possible to achieve in rallying and inspiring a new legion of fans as a result. The newly-crowned World Rally Championship title-winner and his peers reflect on his ability and the start of his success in the top tier

WRC
Nov 26, 2022
How Hyundai and Neuville gatecrashed Toyota's homecoming party Plus

How Hyundai and Neuville gatecrashed Toyota's homecoming party

Thierry Neuville signed off the 2022 World Rally Championship season with his second win of the season in Japan after Toyota rival Elfyn Evans suffered a late puncture. With Sebastien Ogier and Kalle Rovanpera also delayed by punctures and incidents, it opened the door for Neuville and Ott Tanak to record Hyundai's second 1-2 of the season in Toyota's own backyard

WRC
Nov 14, 2022
The message a WRC stalwart sent which its new king couldn’t answer Plus

The message a WRC stalwart sent which its new king couldn’t answer

Sebastien Ogier might be the outgoing World Rally champion, but it didn’t stop him reminding everyone of the skills that made him an eight-time world champion. As victory at Rally Spain led Toyota’s charge to a titles clean sweep, it did pose a question to newly-crowned champion Kalle Rovanpera which he could not answer

WRC
Oct 24, 2022
Autosport gets to grips as a WRC co-driver Plus

Autosport gets to grips as a WRC co-driver

The majority of headlines may focus on the exploits of drivers in the World Rally Championship, but the challenges facing their co-drivers are no less demanding. Autosport got in the passenger seat with Toyota Gazoo Racing to find out just what it takes to succeed

WRC
Oct 6, 2022
How Rally New Zealand encapsulated record-breaking Rovanpera’s WRC title charge Plus

How Rally New Zealand encapsulated record-breaking Rovanpera’s WRC title charge

Kalle Rovanpera’s coronation as the new World Rally Championship king had been a long time coming, only to be postponed by hiccups in Belgium and Greece. But at Rally New Zealand the “Full Send” Finn demonstrated exactly how he's been able to rewrite the rallying record book as he stormed to victory to become the youngest ever world champion

WRC
Oct 3, 2022
How a Toyota lifeline reignited Lappi's WRC career Plus

How a Toyota lifeline reignited Lappi's WRC career

Motorsport can be brutal at times. One moment a driver can be the next big thing, but it can spiral in the other direction so quickly. Thankfully, sometimes drivers receive second chances. And Esapekka Lappi has taken his World Rally Championship lifeline in both hands

WRC
Sep 28, 2022