WRC

Safari Rally report

The following is a transcript of a press release from Toyota ************************************************************ 24 April, 1995 TOYOTA TAKES FOURTH SUCCESSIVE WIN IN WORLD'S TOUGHEST RALLY A Toyota ...

The following is a transcript of a press release from Toyota ************************************************************

24 April, 1995

TOYOTA TAKES FOURTH SUCCESSIVE WIN IN WORLD'S TOUGHEST RALLY

A Toyota Celica GT-Four driven by Japanese rally driver Yoshio Fujimoto has given Toyota its fourth successive victory in Africa's Safari rally.

The Safari rally is acknowledged as the toughest rally in the World Rally Championship. Toyota has won the 3000km rally eight times.

Fujimoto, partnered by Swedish co-driver Arne Hertz, attempted the Safari for only the second time at Easter and is the first Japanese driver to win the African rally.

Fujimoto, 35 an engineer from Yokohama, reached the finish in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi with a 40 min 22 sec advantage over fellow countryman Kenjiro Shinozuka in a Mitsubishi.

The Toyota driver took over the lead part way through the first leg when team mate and 1994 Safari winner lan Duncan hit a huge rock while leading.

The repairs cost Duncan more than an hour, but despite falling to ninth place he was able to fight back to finish third in his Toyota Celica GT-Four.

"Today is a dream come true," said Fujimoto, who has campaigned Toyota Team Europe Celicas in a number of world championship rallies over the past two years.

"It is an extremely tough rally which requires a strong car and a great deal of patience from the driver," he added.

Fujimoto fought off a strong challenge from Shinozuka over the final leg as well as outdriving Britain's Richard Burns and Kenyan Patrick Njiru both in Subarus which crashed out of the rally.

Toyota Celicas filled four of the top ten placings in the Safari this year.

The rally this year counted towards the Two Litre World Rally Championship and attracted a strong field of outright class four wheel drive turbos, despite the absence of points towards outright World Championship.

The next round of the World Rally Championship is the Tour de Corse Rally in Corsica on May 1.

Toyota is currently second in the World Rally Championship for Manufacturers while Toyota driver Juha Kankkunen is second, just three points behind Spaniard Carlos Sainz, in the Drivers Championship.

...ends ******************************************* ** RODERICK EIME ** * Motorsport Photojournalist * ** CAMS Canon Kodak MEAA Accredited ** * PO Box 301 RIVERWOOD NSW 2210 * ** Australia ** * Phone/Fax +612 740 6199 * *******************************************

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