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Toyota’s international motorsport story began in rallying in 1957, when it entered a Toyopet Crown saloon into the Round Australia #rally following a request from the Japanese consulate in Australia. The car completed the 17,000 kilometre, 19-day route in 47th place, marking the start of Toyota’s rallying history. In 1972 the Toyota Celica made its debut in the hands of Swedish driver Ove Andersson on the RAC #rally in Britain, finishing first in class and ninth overall. This led to the creation of a factory-backed team with Andersson at the helm for 1973. This was also the first year of the World #rally Championship, and Canadian driver Walter Boyce recorded the first #wrc victory for a Toyota, winning the Press on Regardless #rally in the United States in a Corolla. In 1975, Andersson’s team moved from Sweden to Belgium and took on the name Toyota Team Europe (TTE). Hannu Mikkola took the team’s first win on the 1000 Lakes #rally in Finland. Another famous event would be the scene of Toyota’s next landmark success in rallying: the Safari #rally in Kenya. Toyota claimed a hat-trick of wins on the gruelling event between 1984 and 1986 thanks to Björn Waldegard and Juha Kankkunen. The most successful period in Toyota’s rallying history began with the introduction of the Celica GT-Four ST165 in 1988. Kankkunen delivered the car’s first #wrc victory on #rally Australia the following year, before Carlos Sainz used it to claim the 1990 drivers’ championship. The ST185 Celica made its debut in 1992 and immediately delivered a second drivers’ title for Sainz. For the 1993 season, Kankkunen returned to Toyota and took the drivers’ crown, while Toyota claimed the manufacturers’ prize for the first time, becoming the first Japanese manufacturer to do so. Both championships were retained in 1994, with Didier Auriol this time securing the drivers’ honours. Toyota went on to win its third manufacturers title in 1999 with the Corolla World #rally Car. Its rallying history as a works entrant was then paused until 2015, when Akio Toyoda announced that Toyota would return to the #wrc from 2017 with the #yariswrc.
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