Mother and daughter out to conquer 2024 Safari Rally

Vivo Energy Group Vice President Marketing Ann Gitao (left), Tinashe Gatimu, rally driver Caroline Gatimu and Vivo Energy Kenya MD Peter Murungi. [Courtesy]

In a sport often dominated by men, Caroline and Tinashe Gatimu are breaking barriers.

The two ladies are ready to create their legacy as a mother-daughter rally team.

The pair was unveiled by OMC Vivo Energy Kenya as part of its one-decade commitment to investing in women in motorsport discipline.

Motorsport has always been a family affair for the Gatimus.

"We got into a rally with my husband. We used to do the 4x4 events. Fast forward, we are now doing it with our daughter," said Caroline.

With Tinashe's talent behind the wheel, her father now takes on a managerial role, completing this unique family dynamic on the racing scene.

For the 19-year-old Tinashe, competing alongside her mother is thrilling and fulfilling.

"Getting to tell my mother what to do is quite fun," she said, highlighting their unique dynamic on the track. As Tinashe puts it, their main goal in the Safari Rally is "to get to the finish line and bring the car home the way we left with it."

Tinashe's journey in motorsport began with autocross, where she found a supportive community in Kenya. She speaks highly of this community, noting that "everyone supports each other, both men and women, to push to the best of our abilities."

Tinashe acknowledges the profound impact of her mother's decision to navigate her.

"She guides me in the car. She shows me what needs to be done. If I don't understand anything, she explains what it means, and that has been amazing."

Caroline Gatimu and Tinashe Gatimu during the inaugural Lioness Rally at Kasarani Sports grounds, Nairobi. [Elvis Ogina,Standard]

Vivo Energy Group Vice President Marketing Ann Gitao expressed optimism with the duo, adding that their journey in Motorsport encapsulates the brand's ethos.

"The two share a special bond that has been carved over time. We are thrilled to have them on board as part of our Motorsport sponsorship for the Safari Rally, a perfect stage to make their dreams come true," said Gitao.

Caroline and Tinashe's bond in the car is evident, with both expressing mutual respect for roles.

"She listens, she heeds what I'm telling her, and also I listen to her. Maybe I didn't get the notes right, I didn't say them too clearly...I'm too fast or too slow," said Caroline.

With the WRC Safari Rally set for March 28-31, all eyes will be on Caroline and Tinashe Gatimu as they take on this thrilling challenge together.

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