Former motor rally driver and champion Bert Shankland who died on January 26, 2012 in Glasgow at the age of 79, will be buried on Friday at a small township of Perth in Scotland.
According to the latest reports from the Automobile Association of Tanzania official Satindersingh Birdi, Shankland is survived by wife, Margaret, and two sons, Scots and Neil.
Reports say the former driver who used to pull huge crowds during his driving career in the mid 60’s and late 70’s died after long illness.
He was born on on September 12, 1932 in Glasgow and came to Tanzania in 1958 to start a career as technician at the Arusha-based branch of, Ridoch Motors
He was transferred to Dar es Salaam in 1962 with same company while participating in various motor rally events staged by then.
His driving talent shocked and won admiration from the Tanganyika Motors Managing director by then Jimmy Finney who convinced him to cross over to his firm as a workshop Manger.
Shankland got all the blessings from Finney and made full use of Peugeot car in motor rally events .
He also got backing from Ken Kassam, the director of Leyland Albion to steady his rallying career.
Kassam is now residing in Toronto Canada.
Shankland was an icon of the Tanzania motor rally drivers and his move from Ridoch Motors to Tanganyika Motors that was coupled with rally victories boosted sales of Peugeot cars in the country and beyond.
The Scottish driver will be in the history books of rallying in Tanzania for many decades to come if not centuries.
His presence in rallies used to stimulate and attract huge crowds when he competed with other legends in the likes of Shekhar Mehta, Jayant Shah, Joginder Singh, Zully Rhemtulah (not the Tanzania Cricket Association CEO) to mention only few.
Shankland’s career was later rocked by politics in Tanzania when motor rallies were abolished in late 70’s owing to fuel scarcity and economic hardships.
However the Government reintroduced motor rally events after remarkable improvement of the economy, rocked by the consequences Uganda war in 1978-9.
The Automobile Association of Tanzania and the rest of motor sports fraternity, drivers, navigators and fans wish Shankland to rest in peace.