As dust settles on Lioness Rally, it's time to focus on champion Wahome

Meet the Lionesses rally drivers who dare the devil. The ladies are also fast and fancy [Elvis Ogina,Standard]

Former national motocross champion Maxine Wahome produced a superlative performance to lift the inaugural Lioness Rally at the Kasarani Super Special Stage in Nairobi, on Sunday.

Navigated by veteran driver Safina Khan in a Subaru Impreza, Wahome wowed and amazed the crowd with her twists and turns in the 2km racing track.

The two drivers went almost neck-and-neck in all the rounds before beating Natasha Tundo of Rally Chix by 3.1 seconds in the final lap.

Mariam Atika during the inaugural Lioness Rally at Kasarani Sports grounds, Nairobi. March 27th,2022 [Elvis Ogina,Standard]

The sweet victory saw the Tams Ladies Stars driver write her name in the history books of the initiative that aims at churning out more women talent in the near future.

Below, Standard Sports brings you 11 things you didn’t know about this 26-year-old dare-devil driver.

1. She’s a first born

Wahome comes from a family of two. In terms of career, she is the opposite of her younger sister when it comes to sports. “My small sister knows nothing about sports, she is passionate about being an artist and a photographer.”

2. She is a kindergarten teacher

Wahome loves children, dealing with the young ones seems to be her calling. Teaching two-year-olds at the Key Montessori School in Valley Arcade, Nairobi fulfills her dream and purpose.

3. She did IGCSE system

Despite going through the International General Certificate for Secondary Education at St.Christopher’s School in Karen, Nairobi, Wahome’s  Swahili is perfect.
4. Wanted to rescue Harambee Starlets

While growing up, Wahome had a big dream of playing for the national football team and winning trophies for Kenya in Fifa sanctioned tournaments. This saw her train hard to become part of the first 11 team in her school. But the unending twists and turns that bedevil the Kenyan football circles made her have a rethink and she did not hesitate to switch to motocross, which ultimately paved her way to autocross and finally, rallying.

5. Introduced to motorsports by a cousin

Despite her father Jimmy being a revered rally driver in the ‘70s and ‘80s, Wahome embraced motorsports through a relative who introduced her to bike races. It was from motocross that she gradually transitioned to autocross and then rallying.

6. Motocross injuries made her ditch golf

The speedster is both queen on racing track and the pristine golf fairways. As a junior, she won several events in the gentleman’s game before she called it quits at 15. To her, it takes sweat and blood to be a national motocross champion, a feat she achieved in 2016. 
But the injuries she got from the 85cc and the 250 cc racing bikes changed the course of her golfing career as she realised the two sports can’t mix.
“I had to drop golf because of the frequent accidents in motocross that hindred my performance on the golf course,” said Wahome.

7. Competed against boys for two years

Due to lack of girls in bike racing, Wahome competed against boys in the national series until 2016. She not only beat the rivals, but went ahead to emerge a national champion (2016) and a motorsports personality of the Year winner (Rose Bowl Award in 2014).

Maureen Mosibori during the inaugural Lioness Rally at Kasarani Sports grounds, Nairobi. March 27th,2022 [Elvis Ogina,Standard]

8. She is already hitched

Wahome is currently dating. She’s in a relationship and hopes it will help her settle down soon and probably, have several children.

9. She’s a Subaru head

Porsche 911 is her dream car, but Wahome cannot have enough of a revving Subaru engine. The ‘heavenly’ sound from Subaru makes her want to jump out of her skin, she totally loves it. “Subaru is the car my father always used since I was a child. I grew up with it, I can tell it’s roaring from a mile away. This machine gives me goose bumps, my adrenaline pumps whenever I’m in one.”

Stella Macharia navigated by Peris Kiboi during the inaugural Lioness Rally at Kasarani Sports grounds, Nairobi. March 27th,2022 [Elvis Ogina,Standard]

10. Her navigator is her team manager

The speed queen reveals the secret to lifting the Lioness Rally on Sunday. To her, she has a cordial relationship with her navigator Safina Khan, who made no mistake as she called out her pace notes.

“Khan is not only a wonderful co-driver, but she is also the Team Manager of our racing squad; the Tams Ladies Stars.”

11. Frenchman Sebastien Ogier is her role model

Wahome loves Ogier to death. She believes the drifts and incredible turns by the French world beater are simply out of this world. She cannot wait to watch the Toyota Yaris world champion do his thing during this year’s WRC Safari Rally in Naivasha, in June.


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