Shekhar Mehta

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Shekhar Mehta
Shekhar Mehta.jpg
Personal information
NationalityKenya Kenyan
Born(1945-06-20)20 June 1945
Died12 April 2006(2006-04-12) (aged 60)
World Rally Championship record
Active years1973–87
Co-driverKenya Rob Combes
Kenya Yvonne Mehta
Kenya Mike Doughty
Australia Lofty Drews
United Kingdom Martin Holmes
TeamsAudi, Nissan, Peugeot, Lancia
Rallies47
Championships0
Rally wins5
Podiums11
Stage wins13
Total points229
First rally1968 Safari Rally
First win1973 Safari Rally
Last win1982 Safari Rally
Last rally1987 Rallye Côte d'Ivoire

Chandrashekhar "Shekhar" Mehta (20 June 1945 – 12 April 2006) was a Ugandan-born Kenyan rally driver. He won the Safari Rally a record five times (1973, 1979–82), including four consecutively,[1] and in 1981 finished fifth in the World Rally Championship.[2]

Biography[edit]

A Kenyan of Indian descent, he was born in 1945 to a family of plantation owners in Uganda, and began rallying behind the wheel of a BMW aged 21.[3] In 1972 he and his family fled Idi Amin's regime to Kenya,[4] the year before he clinched his first Safari Rally title.

He was born in a rich business family, to Khimji Mehta and was grandson of Nanji Kalidas Mehta, scion of Mehta Group.[5] He married his sometime co-driver Yvonne Pratt in 1978 after a ten-year courtship, and they had one son, Vijay, in 1980.[6]

Through the most successful period of his career he drove Datsun cars. He won the inaugural African Rally Championship in 1981,[7] and the Cyprus Rally in 1976.[8] He was on the podium at the 1981 Rally Codasur, twice at the Acropolis Rally and three times at the Rallye Côte d'Ivoire. His career came to an end in 1986 after a nearly fatal crash at Rallye des Pharaons, Egypt while driving for Peugeot.

After his driving days were over he held various administrative positions at the FIA. He became president of the FIA Rally commission in 1997, and was re-appointed as interim President of the World Rally Championship commission shortly before his death. He died in London on 12 April 2006 from liver problems, hepatitis, and illness relating to complications from an old injury.[9][10]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
inaugural
African Rally Champion
1981
Succeeded by
Walter Röhrl