FIA presidential campaigns rocked Dar es Salaam when former Finnish rally ace Ari Vatanen held a press conference on Thursday evening to lure votes from Tanzania.
Vatanen (57) has intensified his campaigns to replace incumbent president Max Mosley (69) in next month’s elections to be held in France.
Vatanen who looked completely unaware of the state of security affairs in the East African region, said he would back the move to reinstate the regional rally that has stalled for years now.
The Finnish driver competed in the 1970’s East African Safari Rally edition which can now not easily be held due to political and security instability in some of the East African countries, besides Tanzania.
The Finn who also visited Uganda was stunned by motor sport enthusiasm when he witnessed more than 500,000 spectators lining up in the streets to watch rally cars competing.
He promised to set up controls that would see motor rallies staged in the continent are free from accidents or minimized and enhance safety measures.
Probably the most interesting words from the FIA presidential candidate is his awarenss of the fact that there are a number of rally drivers in the continent but lack of funds is a stumbling block for them to be active participants.
Vatanen’s last international event was the Paris-Algiers-Dakar classic rally using VW car in 2007.Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and South Africa each has two votes in the FIA elections.