The Tanzania Times
Eastern Africa News Network

Queen Ignited East African Safari Rally Hails Elizabeth II Legacy

The East African Safari Classic Rally is saluting the legacy of Queen Elizabeth II whose 1953 coronation episode resulted in the formation of the regional Motor Sporting Event.

In an official statement, the management of the East African Safari Classic Rally reveals that the popular cross-country and transnational car racing series was hatched in 1953.

EASCR happens to be the first ever motor sporting event to race in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

Apparently, the rally was done in celebration of the coronation of Princess Elizabeth who was ascending the throne to become the Queen of England and the United Kingdom.

Since that time, the motor racing episodes would be held annually and continuously for the next 70 years.

“The East African Safari Classic Rally continues to maintain its roots of the great racing event,” reads part of the EASCR statement, adding that they were saddened by the Queen’s passing.

  • The Motor Sporting event was first held in 1953, as the East African Coronation Safari.
  • It was raced in Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika as a celebration of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
  • In 1960 it was renamed the East African Safari Rally and kept that name until 1974, when it became the Kenya Safari Rally.
  • Held on roads still open to the public, it became notorious as the toughest round of the World Rally Championship.
  • Arduous conditions and constantly changing weather and more than 5000 competitive kilometers made simply finishing an achievement.
  • The event adopted a special stage format in 1996 and from then until 2002, it featured over 1000 kilometers of timed tests.
  • The East African rally left the World Rally Championships in 2002 and returned nine years later in 2021.
  • Kenyan driver Shekhar Mehta tops the Safari’s World Rally Championship roll of honor with five wins.


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