Martin Brundle to Drive Toyota Corolla in Rally of Great Britain

11 October 1999

TV presenter and former Formula One Grand Prix star Martin Brundle will drive a Toyota Corolla World Rally Car in the 1999 Rally of Great Britain (20-23 November). The 40-year-old Briton will line-up alongside regular Toyota Castrol Team drivers Carlos Sainz and Didier Auriol in a third works prepared and run Corolla WRC. Sponsorship for the entry will be announced at a later stage.

Brundle, who together with brother Robin, runs a successful Toyota car dealership in Kings Lynn, spearheaded Toyota’s assault in the 1998 and 1999 24 Heures du Mans. He will be contesting the final and deciding round of the FIA World Rally Championship for the second time in his career. The former Grand Prix driver, winner of the 1990 Le Mans 24 Hour race and now a leading British television presenter, will be co-driven by Swede Arne Hertz, four-time winner of the Rally of Great Britain and victor of no fewer than 18 World Championship rallies.

“I can’t wait and am delighted to be doing the rally with Toyota, with whom I have very strong links,” said Martin, who took pole position for the Toyota GT-One team for this year’s Le Mans 24 Hour race. “Racing and rallying are about as opposite disciplines as you can get, but I’ve driven just about everything out there and am pretty adaptable. When I competed in 1996, getting the speed wasn’t a problem – keeping it on the road was more of a challenge! I’ve driven Formula One cars around Monaco and it’s pretty thrilling going into Casino Square at 180 mph. The Welsh forests are a match for that. The mileage I did last time was some of the best motoring I’ve done in my life – it blew my mind and that’s what’s driving me to go back.

“Carlos (Sainz) drove my Toyota GT-One car in Barcelona last year and both he and Didier have said they’ll help me out and give me a few tips. Someone like Arne though, who has so much experience, is absolutely essential. He’ll be able to tell me if I’m being over-cautious, but more likely to slow me down if things get a bit out of hand! I certainly don’t expect to be adding to his win list! I’d be delighted to get to the finish and ecstatic to be in the top 40,” he added.

The 1999 Rally of Great Britain starts on Sunday 21 November from Cheltenham Racecourse, the opening leg comprising seven super special stages hosted in the grounds of some of England’s finest stately homes and at the famous Grand Prix circuit at Silverstone. Legs Two and Three take the competitors onto the gravel Forestry Commission roads in Wales for a further 15 special stages. The Rally of Great Britain will run over a total distance of 1,154 miles (1,861 kilometres) covering 239 competitive miles (385 kilometres).

Career Highlights

  • Born: 1st June 1959
  • Lives: Gayton (UK)
  • Status: Married, 2 children
  • Interests: Flying, Toyota dealership
  • Debut: 1977
  • 1977 / 1978: Production car racing (Toyota)
  • 1979 / 1980: British Formula Ford
  • 1981: Touring cars (Audi 80)
  • 1983: British F3 (EJR Ralt-Toyota) – 2nd overall to Ayrton Senna, European Touring Cars (Jaguar)
  • 1984: F1 (Tyrrell-Ford) – 2nd Detroit, 5th Brazil
  • 1985: F1 with Tyrrell-Renault, WSPC (Jaguar) – 3rd Mosport, 5th Spa
  • 1986: F1 (Tyrrell-Renault) – 11th overall
  • 1987: F1 (Zakspeed) – 18th, WSPC (Jaguar) – 1st Monza, Le Mans 24 Hours (Jaguar) – retired
  • 1988: Winner WSPC (Jaguar) – 1st at Jarama and Monza, IMSA (Jaguar) – 5th overall, 1st at Daytona, 2nd Miami, Le Mans 24 Hours (Jaguar) – retired
  • 1989: F1 (Brabham) – 18th overall
  • 1990: WSPC (Jaguar) – 8th overall, 1st at Silverstone, IMSA (Jaguar) – 2nd at Daytona, 3rd in IROC series, Le Mans 24 Hours (Jaguar) – 1st
  • 1991: F1 (Brabham-Yamaha) – 15th, SWC (Jaguar) – 1st Monza
  • 1992: F1 (Benetton-Ford) – 6th overall, 2nd Italy
  • 1993: F1 (Ligier-Renault) – 7th overall, 3rd San Marino
  • 1994: F1 (McLaren-Peugeot) – 7th overall, 2nd Monaco
  • 1995: F1 (Ligier-Mugen) – 13th overall, 3rd Belgium
  • 1996: F1 (Jordan-Peugeot) – 11th overall
  • 1997: Le Mans 24 Hours (Nissan) – retired, Director of Arrows GP International, F1 TV commentator for ITV (UK)
  • 1998: Toyota GT project test and development driver, F1 TV commentator for ITV (UK), Television presenter (Great Escapes, ITV), Le Mans 24 Hours (Toyota GT-One) – retired
  • 1999: Toyota GT project test and development driver, F1 TV commentator for ITV (UK), Television presenter (Great Escapes, ITV), Le Mans 24 Hours (Toyota GT-One) – retired, WRC Toyota Corolla, Rally of Great Britain.


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Martin Brundle to Drive Toyota Corolla in Rally of Great Britain


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