Nairobi — In a colorful event held at their showroom on Mombasa Road, Toyota Kenya on Monday entered a partnership with WRC Safari Rally in a deal worth Ksh 30 million.
At the event that was graced by Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Heritage and Culture Amina Mohamed and Principal Secretary State Department of Sports, Joe Okudo, Toyota Kenya unveiled the 2019 WRC Yaris Replica made by the Toyota Gazoo Racing Team, to feature at the return of the WRC Safari Rally slated to run from June 24-27.
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,” Toyota Kenya Managing Director Arvinder Reel, announced.
Part of the sponsorship is Ksh 2 million through the provision of the Toyota Hilux Double cab that will be used as the 00 (Double Zero) Safety Route opener during the WRC Safari Rally.
Reel said that rallying is a sport deep at the heart of Kenya’s National Heritage, adding that the fact that the return of the rally to the WRC fold could not be more welcomed.
“It is the perfect example of the inspiration that Kenya needs to excel even in the toughest of circumstances. I thank the government and the team behind the return of the Safari Rally onto the WRC calendar after a 19-year hiatus,” Reel outlined.
Reel talked of Toyota’s rich rally history having recorded eight Safari Rally wins. The first of these win dates to 1984 when Swedish driver Bjorn Waldegard navigated raced to victory in a Toyota Celica TCT.
Legendary Ian Duncan driving a Toyota Celica Turbo 4WD was the last Kenyan driver to raise the flag high after he won the 42 Trust Bank Safari Rally in 1994. Japans Yoshio Fujimoto added another podium finish for the Celica 4WD in the year to follow during the 43 Safari Rally.
“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
On her part CS Amina reiterated the Governments position to promote sports and encouraged more Public – Private Partnerships.
“It is notable to say that it is in Kenya that Toyota gained its reputation as the “King of Africa” amassing an impressive 8 Safari Rally victories. Today’s event brings us closer to re-living this Toyota experience when the Safari Rally returns to our country and continent in 44 Days on 24th June 2021. It will be exciting to see the Toyota Team back in action after the long break,” Amina said.
“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,” Amina added.
The 2018 WRC Toyota Yaris replica stole the show as all eyes were rivetted on it with everyone scrambling to take a photo beside it.
The Toyota Yaris WRC is similar to what Ott Tanak and Martin Jarveoja The car is based on the vitz based XP130 Yaris and is the first car that Toyota ever raced in the WRC, since withdrawing from the championship during the 1999 WRC Season.
The car is currently being driven by Sebastien Ogier, Elfyn Evans, Kalle Rovanpera and Takamoto Katsuta.
- I am a young Kenyan interested in new media and dissemination of news and information as it unfolds.