Frank Wrathall believes the 2012-spec Toyota Avensis will give him the platform to improve on his impressive rookie season in the British Touring Car Championship. The 25 year old earned the rookie of the year title in 2011, with four straight podiums helping him to 12th overall, and the Dynojet driver hopes to be challenging for the rostrum right from the start.
“The developments we have made will allow us to move on to the next level. The installation of the engine is better, the cooling is better and all around the car we have made improvements based on what we learned during our first year.
“I hope it will mean that we can be regularly fighting for the podium. That is my aim, but of course the opposition will be strong and everyone else will be out to do the same thing.”
As part of his prize for winning the Ginetta GT Supercup last year, Adam Morgan will make his British Touring Car debut in another NGTC Avensis. The 23 year old's car features a completely new chassis from Speedworks Motorsport but wasn't ready for initial testing, and the newcomer had to borrow the car of his teammate Tony Hughes.
“I have been getting used to the feel, the need to warm up the tyres, which is crucial, and the way the car is set up, particularly at the rear”, he said. “I struggled a bit at first but the more miles I have covered the more used to it I have become. Now I just can't wait to get out there and race.”
Despite sacrificing testing time to help his teammate, Hughes expects be ready for the opening weekend at Brands Hatch and is targeting a points finish at some stage this season.
“By the beginning of the season I should have had about five days of testing. It has all helped immensely and we are able now to put together all the pieces of the puzzle, and I think the car will work well this year. My target is to try to finish as many races as possible and to try to get a top-10 finish – that would be like a win for me.”