Set against the scenic backdrop of the Masinga Dam, one of the most anticipated events in the Kenya Motorsport industry was held for two days in October. The crowd, a mix of petrol heads, car racing enthusiasts, and drag racing fans were gathered to support their favorite teams at the Masinga TT despite the scorching heat. Amongst the teams was the Balerion Performance team, wearing the beautiful yellow, green, and purple designs that represent the logo of Yellow Card, Africa’s fastest-growing crypto exchange.
The Balerion team, made up of three prolific drivers, Gabriel Mwongera, Gerald Psinen, and Doreen Shimuli put on their best performance for the excited crowd and they did not hold back as each driver gave their best performance. To prove their exceptional performances, Gerald snagged the title of top time of the day, demonstrating his exceptional skill, precision, and commitment to the sport. Doreen the female driver amongst the trio snagged the highly coveted title for Best Driver of the Day after an exhilarating performance. Her performance helped the team secure the 4th position, showing just how much women can achieve if they are included in more sectors. The crowd could not get enough of her as they went on and on about her precision and skill behind the wheel.
Masinga TT isn’t just a race; it’s a celebration of talent, teamwork, and the relentless pursuit of dreams. This event brings people together, fosters community spirit, and showcases the potential of individuals and teams to achieve greatness. These qualities are what drew Yellow Card to the event and led to the partnership with the Balerion Performance team.
The event was a huge success among drag racing fans who came to be entertained by their favorite drivers and were left in total awe as each car sped through the asphalt, engines revving, and gears switching with precision and skill.
Doreen’s performance was proof of her incredible talent and skillfulness behind the wheel. She showed her prowess on the track but also made a significant impact on the event. Her success is a testament to her dedication and the support she received from Yellow Card, the company that partnered with her team; Balerion Performance, for their participation at the Masinga TT Racing event.
“Being one of the few females in a male-dominated industry is indeed a challenge, but it’s also a source of motivation for me. What keeps me going is my passion for motorsport and the desire to break down gender barriers in this field. I believe that women can excel in any industry, and I want to set an example for others who aspire to be a part of motorsport and other male-dominated fields,” said Doreen.
As part of its mission to ensure women’s inclusion, Yellow Card saw this as an opportunity to drive home further its commitment to diversity and inclusion in every sphere of society. The exchange aims to increase the visibility, representation, and participation of women at all levels through education and financial literacy and Doreen is a testament to what can be achieved if more women are included in various industries including the male-dominated ones.
Speaking about Yellow Card’s partnership, Doreen said, “It felt so special to feel seen and approached for a partnership in a field where it isn’t always easy. Yellow Card’s partnership extended beyond financial support; it offered invaluable exposure and recognition within the racing, online, and crypto communities. This partnership not only boosted my credibility but also fostered crucial relationships within the motorsport and emerging technologies industries. It opened doors to superior equipment and enhanced training, significantly elevating my performance at Masinga TT.
More importantly, Yellow Card’s sponsorship wasn’t just about facilitating my success; it stood as a powerful symbol of diversity and inclusion in both the motorsport and fintech industries. Their commitment to breaking gender barriers and encouraging female participation in these male-dominated fields is truly remarkable. Their unwavering support reshaped my career, enabling me to focus on honing my driving skills. Their dedication to diversity and inclusion played a pivotal role in my achievements at Masinga TT, and I’m wholeheartedly grateful for their partnership.”
Florence Githinji, the Regional Marketing Manager for Yellow Card in East Africa while speaking to the media about Yellow Card’s motivation for participating in this event, said “We chose the Masinga TT racing event as our top choice because it isn’t just a race; it’s a celebration of talent, teamwork, and the relentless pursuit of dreams. It brings people together, fosters community spirit, and showcases the potential of individuals and teams to achieve greatness. It embodies the spirit of adrenaline, innovation, and teamwork that perfectly aligns with our mission. This event not only showcases the remarkable talents of racers but also promotes local engagement and growth, making it the ideal platform for us to share our message and connect with a passionate Audience.” She continued, “We chose Ballerion Performance as our team of choice because they have consistently showcased their exceptional skill and determination, qualities that align perfectly with our commitment to excellence and innovation. With a team of three talented drivers, Ballerion Performance embodies the spirit of teamwork and collaboration, values we highly appreciate. Together, we’re ready to conquer new horizons and inspire others to reach for greatness in the world of motorsport.”
Some of the women who have made history in car racing include Danica Patrick, the first woman to win an IndyCar race and to lead laps in the Daytona 500; Janet Guthrie, the first woman to qualify and compete in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500; Michele Mouton, the first woman to win a World Rally Championship event; and to bring it home, Doreen Shimuli a member of the Balerion Performance team in Kenya whose outstanding performance earned her the title of “Driver of the Day,” at the just concluded Masinga TT, a well-deserved honor.
These women have proven that they can compete at the highest level of motorsport, and have paved the way for more female talent to enter the industry. Women’s inclusion in car racing also benefits the sport as a whole, as it brings new perspectives, ideas, and skills to the table. Women can contribute to the development and improvement of car technology, safety, marketing, and management.
Women can also attract new audiences and sponsors to the sport, increasing its popularity and profitability. Moreover, women can be role models and mentors for other women and girls who aspire to join or support the car racing industry. They are a powerful force for positive change, both for the sport and for society. Women have shown that they can excel in a male-dominated industry, and have enriched the car racing culture with their presence and participation. Women’s inclusion in car racing is not only a matter of fairness and equality but also a source of innovation and inspiration. This is why Doreen’s outstanding performance at the just concluded Masinga TT held in Kenya is gaining a lot of attention. We hope to see more news about women’s contributions in the future. Women’s inclusion in car racing has not only brought diversity and innovation to the sport but also empowered and inspired other women to pursue their passions and goals.
By: Peculiar Ibeabuchi