Kenya’s soft-spoken Maxine Wahome, 26, is the only female driver in the rally, teaming up with seasoned navigator – Chantal Young – to tackle the dusty route in battle during the male-dominated championship.
This is Maxine’s first rally.
“I started riding at the age of 12 on an 85cc KTM Bike and eventually progressed to a 250-cc bike. I participated on both local and international races in Africa. I got introduced to motorsport by my family – my father Jimmy Wahome was a rally driver when I was young, my cousins also used to ride bikes as well,” Maxine was quoted by Capital Sport, one of the official broadcast partners.
“One day I asked my dad for a bike and he agreed – that was the beginning of my motocross career.
“As a woman it was difficult racing against men as they are much stronger than me – And because of that I had to train harder and smarter. I stopped eating red meat and changed my whole diet to keep fit. I was at the track for practice at least three or four times a week, and at the gym five times a week.
“The first time I got to race with women was in 2016, as there are not many in Kenya to have a class that will score points. However, I saw that as an advantage as it made me a more aggressive rider.”
“Switching from two wheels to four wheels wasn’t so hard as I used to drive a manual car once in a while so learning how to drive was easy. The hard part has been learning the hand brake turns and left foot braking.”