Snow-capped Kilimanjaro, flying safari rally car and amazed Maasai in Kenya, the story of the legendary WRC photo
icon safari rally vehicle flying near Kilimanjaro

As the 2022 safari rally which was broadcast live comes to an end, we take a look at one of the most iconic photos of this prestigious event. At the 1993 Safari Rally in Kenya, Ian Duncan’s Toyota Celica GT-Four ST185 soars beyond a crest. Overlooking the automobile from Tanzania across the border is the snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak at  5,895 meters.

Two Maasai villagers are observing as an azure sky soars over the snow and dry soil below.

Reinhard Klein, a talented photographer with the McKlein agency, created the picture. We get a behind-the-scenes look at a masterpiece from a man who attended every Safari Rally from 1978 until it was discontinued by the WRC in 2002.

Question: Reinhard, could you please describe how you got this amazing picture?

Answer: This photograph was taken during testing rather than the actual rally. For Toyota, who wanted pre-event coverage to ratchet up the enthusiasm for the Safari, Ian conducted the testing in Africa. Why not combine the video and photo team to capture them as they drive up and down the roads? It invited the rally team to assist since it was already down there with practice cars and test cars.

Question: It was a promotional photograph, then.

Answer: Exactly. The film crew was under the direction of Marion Bell-Andersson, the wife of Toyota Team Europe manager Ove. Toyota did this at numerous events in order to have content after the rally was ended.

They prepared photography in advance because it took so long to be quick for daily publications in those days. They simply pressed the advertisement’s button when they were successful.

Question: Do you have any prior knowledge of this area?

Answer:  I was pretty familiar with Kenya, and I was aware that Toyota desired the ideal Kilimanjaro photo. The Pipeline Road was the previous name of the street. Coming from Kilimanjaro up to the main Mombasa road, it was perfectly straight. Today’s Tarmac is fantastic.

Question: It’s a spectacular location, right?

Answer: The continent itself. You can engage in both safari and Kilimanjaro climbing activities in Africa. Only in the early morning, from roughly 06.30 to 08.30, is the mountain typically visible.

Normally, it is clear at that time, but in April around Easter, the rainy season is slowly beginning and there is a lot of clouds gathering, so it is starting to cloud over early in the morning. You must arrive at the venue early.

Question: How did you prepare?

Answer:  We arrived the previous evening and spent the night close to the mountain and the Amboseli National Park. We looked around the area, and there was that one brow I recognized. It couldn’t really be taken flat out in the rally or in open traffic since the drivers couldn’t see what was coming from the opposite side. We essentially blocked off the road in the morning.

In Africa, you can use a hand signal to signal caution rather than closing the road to ensure that no one is approaching. To fly properly, Ian gave it his all. They wouldn’t even take off during the demonstration. Maybe only 20 kph separated them, but that was enough to affect the picture.

Question: How did the Maasai get engaged, if at all?

Answer: Getting the Maasai to stand along the roadside was the ultimate trick. They wanted some compensation, of course, but the issue was that they were terrified when the car was approaching at full speed. They are accustomed to cars moving at 50 kph. They fled when the automobile approached since this one was traveling at 170 kph!

We claimed that we hadn’t finished the photo since you had fled, but they insisted that you just pay for one picture. Then we had to bargain once more. A few shots were required, and each time we had to pay. They had to get acclimated to the speed, find the proper spot to stand, and refrain from fleeing. After a few failed efforts, we eventually managed to put everything up. The Maasai were accustomed to the speed, they remained in place, they were confident in their safety, the automobile leapt well, and Kilimanjaro was bathed in beautiful sunshine.

Question: Astonishing results followed.

Answer: It was amazing footage that was and still is utilized all over the world. It generated a lot of exposure for both the rally and the Safari. One of my favorite pictures is that one. In contrast to the usual situation where you simply walk to a spot and something happens, this was more like a studio-style plot than merely observed action.

Related: WRC Safari Rally: Rovanpera wins as Toyota scores 1-2-3-4

With victory at the demanding Safari Rally Kenya, Kalle Rovanpera won the 2022 safari rally event hence strengthening his case for the World Rally Championship championship, with Toyota controlling the top four spots.

1 #69  K. ROVANPERÄ  J. HALTTUNEN  GR Yaris Rally1 M 3:40:24.9
2 #33  E. EVANS  S. MARTIN  GR Yaris Rally1 M 3:41:17.7
3 #18  T. KATSUTA  A. JOHNSTON  GR Yaris Rally1 MT 3:42:07.6
4 #1  S. OGIER  B. VEILLAS  GR Yaris Rally1 M 3:42:35.2
5 #11  T. NEUVILLE  M. WYDAEGHE  i20 N Rally1 M 3:51:05.8
6 #42  C. BREEN  P. NAGLE  Puma Rally1 M 4:03:52.8
7 #9  J. SERDERIDIS  F. MICLOTTE  Puma Rally1 None 4:10:41.4
8 #19  S. LOEB  I. GALMICHE  Puma Rally1 M 4:12:37.5
9 #20  K. KAJETANOWICZ  M. SZCZEPANIAK  Fabia Evo WRC2DC 4:16:02.5
10 #2  O. SOLBERG  E. EDMONDSON  i20 N Rally1 M 4:18:01.5
11 #22  S. JOHNSTON  A. KIHURANI  C3 WRC2DC 4:35:10.7
12 #27  A. SINGH RAI  G. SINGH PANESAR  Fabia Evo WRC2DJC 4:45:16.4
13 #16  A. FOURMAUX  A. CORIA  Puma Rally1 M 4:59:52.6
14 #44  G. GREENSMITH  J. ANDERSSON  Puma Rally1 None 4:59:57.0
15 #28  A. VIRANI  A. BHATTI  Fabia WRC2DC 5:18:53.6
16 #34  M. WAHOME  M. WAIGWA  Fiesta Rally3 WRC3 5:20:21.6
17 #38  N. SACHANIA  D. PATEL  Lancer Evo X None 5:27:44.6
18 #30  J. WAHOME  V. OKUNDI  Fiesta Rally3 WRC3 5:45:49.0
19 #41  M. RATHOD  J. MACTAVISH  Lancer Evo X None 5:54:30.5
20 #32  M. KIMATHI  M. KIONI  Fiesta Rally3 WRC3 5:55:59.3

Ian Duncan’s Flying Sausage – Toyota Celica

This is the same car that Ian Duncan drove in the previous safari rally events. In a Toyota Celica called “The Flying Sausage” and sponsored by Farmer’s Choice, Ian Duncan won the Safari Rally in 1994. Farmer’s Choice has sponsored Rob Collinge, and the company has named his Datsun 260Z “The Flying Sausage” in keeping with tradition. The “Flying Sausage” appears poised to win once more as rally history is about to repeat itself.

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