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TOYOTA HILUX HELPS SMASH BALLOON WORLD RECORD

In a neat parallel to its tough-as-nails reputation, the Toyota HiLux has helped Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov smash an around-the-world balloon record many thought was unbreakable.

Konyukhov successfully completed his journey around the world in a hot air balloon and landed near the Western Australian wheat-belt town of Bonnie Rock at 4.30pm local time on July 23.

The famous adventurer broke the world record by circumnavigating the Earth in just 11 days, beating the previous record set by American Steve Fosset 14 years ago by almost two days.

The iconic Toyota HiLux pickup participated in all pre-flight activities and met Konyukhov at the landing point in its role as the official vehicle of this around-the-world balloon flight project.

Over the last 12-months the legendary Toyota HiLux pickup accompanied Konyukhov in all preparations for the around-the-world flight, including the training phase in Russia, pre-flight preparations in June, and the official handover of the Cameron balloon in Bristol, UK.

On July 12 the HiLux prevented the balloon from a premature take-off while the envelope was being filled with helium, and after the return touchdown the balloon was again secured with its help.

Fedor's balloon was airborne for 11 days as it travelled a distance of 34,950km, passing over the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans, approaching Antarctica and flying across Australia, South America and Africa.

Konyukhov flew at heights of up to 10,600 metres while enduring temperatures as low as -55C.

Oscar Konyukhov (Fedor Konyukhov's son) - Head of ground support team - "I'm extremely proud of my father! It's hard to grasp the scope of what he managed to achieve. To complete a record-breaking non-stop circumnavigation in a hot air balloon from the first attempt is one chance in a million. And he did just that!"

Tatiana Khalyavskaya, Marketing Manager, Toyota Motor Russia - "The whole Toyota team sincerely congratulates Fedor Konyukhov and all participants in the 'Round The World On a Roziere Balloon project. The example of the 65-year-old traveller who challenged nature and circumstances proves that there is nothing impossible for a human, especially when supported by true friends and a vehicle you can rely on in the most extreme situations."

...ends/74057

For more information, please contact:

Jean-Yves Jault
General Manager - Toyota Motor Europe
+32 2 745 31 74
jean.yves.jault@toyota-europe.com

Sylvie Caira
Manager - Toyota Motor Europe
+32 2 745 2288
sylvie.caira@toyota-europe.com

Stephen Coughlan
Product Public Relations Manager - Toyota Motor Corporation Australia
Tel: (02) 9710-3059
Mob: (0434) 442 261
stephen.coughlan@toyota.com.au



 
IMAGES
Toyota HiLux: Official chase car, supporting Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov's new world-record for a non-stop solo hot-air balloon flight around the globe.
Toyota HiLux: Official chase car, supporting Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov's new world-record for a non-stop solo hot-air balloon flight around the globe.
Toyota HiLux: Official chase car, supporting Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov's new world-record for a non-stop solo hot-air balloon flight around the globe.