Successful rally driver S. Joginder Singh Bhachu, known as the Flying Sikh, was a leader in the long-distance rally in the 1960s and 1970s. For example, he won the East African Safari Rally three times, with almost every car enthusiast knowing his victory of 1965 in a second-hand Volvo PV544 'Cat back'. In 1974 and 1976 he won this tough adventure with a Mitsubishi Colt Lancer 1600 GSR. Born on 9 February 1932 in Kenya, he received his school education in Nairobi, after which he went to work as his youngest servant in his father's garage. After wandering around at a few other garages, he became the first 'roadman' at the Royal East African Automobile Association in 1958. As a 26-year-old inexperienced driver, he was the first Sikh in rallying. Although the Ugandan Shekhar Mehta has scored more victories in the world's toughest rally, in his 22 entries, Singh has come to the finish of the Safari Rally no less than 19 times, even the time (in 1968) of the 74 participants there seven came to the finish in Nairobi ... A man with a lot of technical knowledge and a lot of experience, he was invited a few years ago by Dutch rally hero Bert Dolk to inspect his car. The Volvo Amazon, in which Dolk was to start in the Safari Rally, was prepared and inspected by a garage known as a Volvo specialist in today's classic endurance rally world. The car would be competitive. In a hurry, Singh was able to fill four (!) A-4s with comments and comments, as well as urgent recommendations to make Dolk's participation a success ... Joginder Singh knew what he was talking about. He left Africa in the 1980s and settled alternately in Great Britain and Canada. As two-fold Motorsport Man of the Year from Kenya (1970 and 1976) he was the special guest at the 50e edition of the Safari Rally in 2002, while becoming the patron of the Safari Classic from 2007. On October 20, 2013, he died of cardiac arrest in London. He was 81 years old.
Photo: Joginder Singh Bhachu