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Toyota takes up the challenge

6 September 2004

Toyota takes up the challenge

Toyota New Zealand has lodged a four-car entry in the 2004 EnergyWise Rally, using the same team of drivers that performed so creditably in the 2002 event. This time however, the market leader is going for nothing less than outright victory, chasing the ultimate fuel-miser title with not only a double Prius entry but also a diminutive one-litre Daihatsu Charade.

One of the petrol-electric Priuses will be driven by ex Formula 1 driver Chris Amon, who will be matching his skills against veteran Christchurch motoring journalist Brian Cowan in an identical car. It will be a double challenge for Cowan, because he also has something to prove against his media colleague Rob Maetzig in the Honda Civic Hybrid.

In the small car class, the feather-footed Sunday Star-Times motoring editor Jacqui Madelin will be tickling the throttle of the three-cylinder Charade along the challenging route, while long-time motorsport personality Rob Lester will again be going for the compact car class victory in a 1.8 litre Corolla.

The rally participants will be spending two nights in Toyota’s home city of Palmerston North during the four-day event, which runs from 2 to 5 November, starting and finishing in Auckland.


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