Dar es Salaam — As the flagging-off of the International African Rally Championship in Tanzania on July 23 looms, latest standings on the scorecard show that Tanzania and Kenya have been rivals since the rally's inception in 2001.
The statistics show that each of the two countries has won the rally five times, followed up closely by Zambia, Uganda and Zimbabwe, each of which has won it twice.
Tanzania's expansive silverware record began right from 2001 through its driver, Pat Contois and his codriver Car Voltaire. In 2004, Omar Bakhresa and his codriver, George Fereira, also made their mark.
In 2015, using Mistubishi Lancer Evo 9, Gerald Miller and Petar Fox won. In 2016, Randeep Sigh and Zubay Predina won, while and in 2019 Dharam Pandya and Veer Darbar won in 2919, driving a Subaru Impreza.
Kenya won the trophy in 2002, 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018.
Zambia won in 2008 with Muna Sigh/Dave Shoka and 2012 with Jaspreet Chatthe/Dave Shoka. Zimbabwe made a difference in the rally's history by winning consecutively in 2009 and 2010 with Subaru Impreza's crew of Jamie Whyte and Phi Archenoul.
Closer to home, Ugandans also spared no efforts in rubbing shoulders with the rally's big names after winning it twice in 2005 with Riyaz Kurj/Sayed Kadir and 2007 with Hideak Minyosh/Hakaro Chino using Mistubishi Lancer evo 9.
Speaking about the International African Rally Championship-2021, the Automobile Association of Tanzania President, Nizar Jivani called on the country's drivers to keen the glorious silverware in Tanzania this time.