Monday | 10 May 2021

Nairobi Yaris reveal raises Safari excitement

Kenyan fans enjoyed their first glimpse of a modern World Rally Car in almost two decades today when Toyota Kenya unveiled a replica of the Japanese manufacturer’s 2019 WRC title-winning Yaris in Nairobi.

The car will be displayed at Toyota Kenya’s city showroom during the build-up to Safari Rally Kenya’s (24 - 27 June) WRC return after an 18-year absence.

Toyota is the most successful manufacturer in the Safari’s WRC history with seven wins in a golden period between 1984 and 1994. Björn Waldegård claimed its first success in 1984 in a Celica TC Turbo with Juha Kankkunen, Carlos Sainz and Ian Duncan also victorious.

Kenya’s Sports, Culture and Heritage cabinet secretary Amina Mohamed said Toyota’s Safari success earned the company the title ‘King of Africa’.

“Today’s event brings us closer to reliving this Toyota experience when the Safari Rally returns to our country and continent in 44 days on 24 June 2021,” she added.

“It will be exciting to see the Toyota team back in action after the long break. The Safari Rally also became a testing ground for vehicle manufacturers to assess their products' durability and reliability.

“This attracted core manufacturers, including Toyota, Ford, Mitsubishi, Lancia, and many top works teams in motor production and assembly.”

As well as a Sh30 million sponsorship of the Safari, Toyota Kenya managing director Arvinder Reel announced the company would also provide a ‘00’ Hilux safety car for use during the event, round six of the 2021 season.