NAIROBI, Kenya, May 10 – Toyota Kenya and Toyota Tsusho Corporation (TTC) have committed Sh30mn towards the success of the iconic WRC Safari Rally, set to be return to Kenyan soil after almost two decades and scheduled for June 24-27.
The company will give Sh28mn in cash while Sh2mn will go into provision of the Toyota Hilux as a double zero car which will be the route-opener vehicle during the rally.
“The return of the Safari Rally to the World Rally Championships calendar after a 19-year hiatus couldn’t be more welcomed, considering that rallying is a sport that is deep at the heart of Kenya’s national heritage. We are honoured to play a role towards the success of this year’s edition of the WRC Safari Rally,” said Toyota Kenya Managing Director, Arvinder Reel.
At the same time, as momentum builds towards the start of the Safari Rally, Toyota Kenya will give rally fans an opportunity to view the winning 2019 Yaris WRC Replica by the Toyota Gazoo Racing team.
The 2019 Yaris WRC features an outstanding engine performance with an intelligent 4-wheel-drive system and a suspension that provides superb traction for its aerodynamic performance.
In addition to viewing the 2019 Yaris WRC Replica, customers will also have the chance to experience the road version of the GR Yaris that comes with a thrilling 1.6-litre, 3 Cylinder Turbo engine.
“The GR Yaris is a pure performance car, born from Toyota’s title-winning experience in the World Rally Championship. It brings motorsport technology and design directly to the world of the road car. It is a representation of the quality, durability and reliability customers should expect from Toyota Kenya’s wide offering of vehicles,” added Reel.
The ceremony was officiated by Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed who was flanked by Principal Secretary, Department of Sports, Joe Okudo.
“This partnership embodies the spirit of public-private partnerships in the area of sport with real human-impact in enhanced road safety.”
“Toyota is one of the most popular and respected motor brands in Kenya/Africa and its inclusion in the Safari Rally will encourage safer driving and inspire the next generation of safe motorists on the continent who identify with your unique global brand,” said Amina during the deremony.
Toyota is not new when it comes to motorsport, either in active rallying or in offering motorsports solutions across the world.
In the history of the Safari Rally, Toyota recorded eight wins, with the first win coming in 1984 with the efforts of the late Björn Waldegård in a Toyota Celica TCT.
The last Toyota win at a WRC Safari Rally before quitting the WRC in 1999 was by a Kenyan, Ian Duncan in 1994, driving a Toyota Celica Turbo 4WD.
In 2017, Toyota returned to the WRC circuit and has since captured two WRC Drivers Championships and 1 Manufacturer title.