Toyota races against time after overcoming port delays ahead of Safari Rally


MOTORSPORTS Toyota races against time after overcoming port delays ahead of Safari Rally

Festus Chuma 14:07 - 23.03.2024

Toyota faces port delays for Safari Rally Kenya but remains optimistic, with crucial cars in place and preparations underway for success.

Toyota's appearance at the World Rally Championship (WRC) Safari Rally Kenya service park faced an unexpected hurdle as the team's equipment was delayed due to the late arrival of their cargo. 

According to a detailed report by DirtFish, while the rivals of M-Sport and Hyundai also experienced minor delays, their gear is already on its way to the service park. 

In contrast, Toyota's essentials will not reach the dock in Mombasa until the early hours of Saturday morning, putting the team on a tight schedule to prepare for the rally.

Despite the logistical challenge, the crucial components for competition—the three entry cars—are already in Naivasha, patiently waiting in their freight containers. 

The main concern now shifts to the preparation of the three Gazoo Racing Yaris recce cars, which are vital for the team's practice sessions scheduled to start early Monday morning.

Toyota's sporting director, Kaj Lindstrom, shared an optimistic outlook.

 "We’re not concerned about this. We’ve been monitoring the situation and working with the organisers. I think the boat is something like five hours delayed, but we’ll be in the service park on Sunday, no worries," he said.

This confidence suggests that Toyota is well-versed in handling such unforeseen events and is prepared to tackle the challenges head-on.

The process of getting the equipment through customs and transported to Naivasha is crucial for the team's preparation. 

Any hiccup could force the drivers to resort to rental cars for reconnaissance, a less than ideal situation, especially in Kenya where vehicles are right-hand drive.

 However, local sources remain hopeful, indicating that the customs process should go smoothly with the rally organisers providing assistance.

This incident is not the first time Toyota has faced timing challenges in the Safari Rally. 

Last season, the team arrived late but still managed to construct its service park infrastructure in time, ultimately dominating the African classic for the third consecutive year.

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