When Britons spread out from their home islands to populate what was then the Empire they took with them traditions, customs and, of course, sports. What is more, they tended to follow, albeit a little later, the changes which took place in the Old Country. When rallying began developing into a popular sport in Britain and other parts of Europe it was natural that it was taken up where the motor car was available in other parts of the world. From such beginnings came the Safari, to name what is perhaps the most famous of such events. On a similar basis, the French can be said to have been responsible for the Morocco Rally.
These are not the only such events, of course, for the sport seems to be spreading rapidly to most countries with large expanses of relatively low population density. The latest event to apply for international status is the Zambia Rally which was held for the seventh time at national status in October. It was based at Lusaka and ran northwards to the town of Kitwe in the copperbelt and then southwards into the Zambezi valley.
Owing to restrictions on border crossings in southern Africa, entries from outside Zambia were lacking and only 27 cars started. Twelve of them finished, winners being Satwant Singh and Dave Haworth in a Datsun 710. Satwant is a Zambian Asian who drives quickly and intelligently. He has won before and has acquitted himself very well in East African events, including the Safari.
On the subject of terrain, we should say that Zambia is relatively flat without any of the tortuous escarpments of Kenya. There are fewer pure murram roads and most of the tracks are all-weather. Furthermore there is no great animal hazard; in our wandering through the Zambian bush we saw no signs of wild life at all. The bare bush lends itself to collision-free rallying, but we couldn’t help feeling that something was missing. Indeed, it all looked like what Kenya may become in the not-too-distant future if the wholesale poaching and charcoal-burning enterprises there are allowed to continue unhindered.
Run on lines similar to those of the Safari, the Zambia Rally shows tremendous promise. The organisers, as a whole, are not as experienced as those in Kenya, nor can they avail themselves of the equipment and resources which the Kenyans have, but we set no reason why the event should not he inscribed on the international calendar, nor develop a world-wide reputation in future years.-G.P.