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Rallying legend Shekhar Mehta passes away

Written by: Staff

London, Apr 13 (UNI) Newly appointed World Rally Commission president Shekhar Mehta died in a hospital here yesterday after a brief illness.

The 60-year old Kenyan car rally driver is survived by his wife Yvonne.

Mehta, who won the Safari Rally five times, was taken ill over the weekend, during the latest round of the FIA World Rally Championship in Corsica.

Mehta, was confirmed as the new acting president for the sport only at the end of last month.

A statement from the FIA, the sports governing body, said, ''The FIA extends sincere condolences to the Mehta family on the sad news of the death of Shekhar Mehta. Throughout his life Shekhar made an enormous contribution to motor sport, and rallying in particular, both as a successful competitor and as a highly respected member of the FIA. Shekhar's experience, commitment, sense of honour and humour will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with the Mehta family at this difficult time.'' Mehta had won the East African Safari Rally in 1973 and later made history by becoming the only person yet to win the event four times in a row -- 1979, 1980, 1981 and 1982.

Driving his trademark Datsun, Mehta blazed into the history books as the first driver to win the event five times.

After his retirement, Mehta took up roles in motorsport administration with gusto.


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