The Team Toyota GB name will return to British grid for the first time since 1995 at this September’s Britcar 24 Hours (September 21-23) at Silverstone, the reformed team running a single Toyota GT86 in the endurance challenge.
Responsibility for building and running the car falls to GPR Motorsport – the company behind the NGTC Toyota Avensis that thrust the manufacturer back onto the British Touring Car grid at the start of 2010. Gary Blackham and Roger King of GPRM are overseeing the running of the team, with the emphasis placed on turning the two-litre sportscar into a winning proposition, while remaining as close as possible to road going specification.
“The new Toyota has all the makings of a great production class racer,” said Blackham. “We are concentrating our efforts on stripping back the chassis, lightening and strengthening it and of course equipping it with a roll cage and all the other safety gear required, as well as quick-refuelling equipment. Other than that, the GT86 will remain essentially in road car form.”
While announcements about the team of drivers for the race are expecting in the coming weeks mock-ups of the car reveal a red and white livery evoking the livery that the GT86’s distant automotive cousin – the AE86 – and driver Chris Hodgetts took to BTCC titles in 1986 and 1987.
Toyota’s racing heritage in the BTCC continued with the Carina model in the 1990s, ending with the Team Toyota GB run Carina E piloted by Tim Sugden and Julian Bailey.