Polish rally driver Sobieslaw Zasada will make history this weekend as he becomes the oldest FIA World Rally Championship competitor at the age of 91. The three-time European Rally Champion returns to competitive action after 24 years away from rally action and will compete in the event in the Ford Fiesta Rally3 car.
Speaking ahead of the rally he said:
“Of course, this is a huge challenge and my goal is purely to reach the finish line,
“I’ve always found the Safari to be a fantastic rally. I’m going back because I’m very curious to see what this rally looks like in its present form. It’s about the challenge,” enthused Zasada, whose grandson, Daniel Chwist, is also on the entry list.
Zasada will steer a Ford Fiesta Rally3 managed by M-Sport Poland. The Safari will be the biggest test yet for a new-category model which made its WRC debut just two months ago in Croatia.
His Safari memories date back to 1969, when the rally was very different to the current format. Competitors drove flat out on roads that remained open to public traffic and negotiated 6000km of competition in five days.
Speaking about his career, Zasada commented saying:
They were very difficult rallies. “In the longest Safari Rally in 1972, which was 6480km long, I finished second. The winner was over nine hours behind the time schedule. It was driving for three days and three nights without any break. Drinking tea helped me a lot!
“I think those rallies were three or even four times more difficult than the current ones in terms of endurance and condition.”