The final epic eight week and 13,500km adventure of the summer stage of Toyota's Five Continents Drive tour through Europe - Toyota Europe's HQ in Belgium.
Day 50: Crawley, UK, to Rouen, France
Accumulated total: 12,744km
Week eight consisted of a whistle-stop of the British Isles, the final leg of the summer section - where the team boarded the Eurotunnel and return to mainland Europe. The goal was to get closer to Brussels for the closing ceremony, the team decided to prioritise the scenic routes to the smoother and more relaxed pace found on French roads. Once arrived in Rouen, the team came together for a daily debriefing on the differences between driving in the UK and France. The general outcome was that the French roads were better in the context of traffic flow in a higher 130km/h (80.6mph) maximum speed limit on motorways.
Day 51:Rouen, France to Valenciennes, France
Accumulated total: 13,011km
Toyota Motor Manufacturing France (TMMF) scheduled a special visit located in Valenciennes. The team posed for photos from their warm welcoming staff to then head inside for a presentation from plant president Luciano Biondo. The TMMF has been producing the Yaris Hybrid model from 2012 and the Yaris since the first generation. Toyota is continuing to improve the environmental production processes on the Yaris even being frequently praised.
Day 52: Valenciennes, France, to Spa, Belgium
Accumulated total: 13,362km
A special stage was organised for the penultimate day of the summer leg of the 5C European tour. On an early Friday morning, the team crossed the border into Belgium to a secret test route regularly used by Toyota in the development of to their cars. Toyota evaluated the route on a mix of terrain and driving environments; with handling, ride, comfort, steering, braking and overall performance through a mixture of open country roads and small busy villages. For everyone to experience the route estimated at 30 minutes, each car would compete for two laps where the drivers would swap half way. En-route the team stopped off at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps to take in the sights and sounds of cars racing around the track.
Day 53: Spa, Belgium, to Brussels, Belgium
Accumulated total: 13,497km
The final day of the European summer drive after 52 days on the road. After the last safety check at the hotel, the team departed on a two-hour drive towards Europe's headquarters in Brussels. A special event had been organised to celebrate crossing the finishing line after eight weeks and 13,500km of driving across Europe. A special presentation was delivered including a video highlighting the travels over the past two months where the vehicles were parked inside the building. Toyota's team members from Japan and Europe were invited on stage to express their feelings and their learnings from participating in this unique experience.
Finishing off with a meal before diligently removing all test equipment from the cars, they were cleaned and returned to Toyota Europe. Team members were then able to share any final thoughts, not only about the cars but the cultural differences experienced along the way. Now the summer leg of the European drive is now over, the final winter stage through Scandinavia will commence in November and will run for four weeks.