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TAMIYA Sports Car Series No.205

About the Subaru Impreza WRC '98 Safari
Among the vast number of World Rallies, the Safari Rally in Kenya is known to be particularly severe. Scorching temperatures, rough terrain as well as flooded roads recast into dust clouds by the burning sun, all serve to hinder visibility. Although the distance of the race has become shorter over the years, the speed of the race has become faster and the terrain has remained just as unforgiving.

The champions in 1997, the 555 Subaru Rally Team, using the Impreza WRC, attempt to defy the odds again in the 1998 Safari Rally. Sporting a roof-mounted snorkel for driving in heavy rain or over flooded terrain, the Impreza can continually supply air to its engine. Also, an "animal guard" was adopted on the front of the car. As the name suggests, it protects the radiator from damage in the unlikely event of hitting an animal. High power projector lamps, or "wing lights" were built right into the side mirrors. In addition, to improve off-road performance, the clearance was substantially raised and the front bumper mounted rip-spoiler was removed. For rallies at heights between 1600m and 2800m above sea level, the horizontally mounted 4-cylinder, DOHC engine was give high altitude settings. Also, an oil-cooler was added under hood mounted air-scoop.

Using experience gained in last year's win, the Subaru Team challenged the Rally again. Unfortunately, on the second day the Impreza was forced to retire after sustaining heavy damage.