NAIROBI, Kenya, May 29th – As you leaf through the list of 58 entries for the WRC Safari Rally, you can easily browse past Polish driver Sobieslaw Zasada.
What many may not know is that this 91 year old former rally driver is one of the best equipped and most experienced rally drivers on the list.
Zasada is the founder and main shareholder of the Polish company Zasada Group. He was born on January 27, 1930 and became famous as an international rally driver in the 1960s and 1970s.
From a young age he was active as a member of the scouting sports team between 1945 and 1948. In 1946 he won the Scouting Athletics Championship in Krakow. He joined the Polish national athletics team from 1949-1952.
Zasada’s sporting career came to a standstill in 1953 after he sustained an open fracture on his right leg while skiing in Zakopane, Poland. His leg was due to be amputated, but he chose to save it and spent two years in rehab to recover.
In 1957 he opened a garage in Krakow, in which all car brands were supplied with modern diagnostic equipment. As the “man behind the iron curtain”, an area in which there was practically no driving and no car market at the time, Zasada was the only driver from a communist state who represented top rally car manufacturers such as Steyr Puch or Porsche, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
Zasada developed into one of the best equipped drivers and athletes in Poland, winning the Order of Polonia Restituta for his contribution to Polish sport.
The list of podiums and awards he’s received is too long to list. According to the official Zasada website, his biggest awards come from his three European rallies
European rally championships and three second places. Zasada won his championships in competition against top athletes from teams such as Alfa Romeo, BMW, Mercedes and Porsche.
– 11-time Polish rally driver, – winner of 148 rallies, – five-time gold medalist for outstanding sporting achievements.
Zasada has participated in the most prestigious rallies in the world including: London-Sydney, London-Mexico, Vuelta America del Sur, Gran Premio Argentino, Safari, Press on Independent, Monte Carlo, Alpine Cup, Acropolis, Thousand Lakes, Rally Sweden and Great Britain rally.
Zasada takes 27th place in the WRC Safari Rally starting list and will drive the M-Sport Ford Fiesta RC3.
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