BTCC Avensis’ Make Public Debut

The official Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship Media Day saw the unveliling of the two new Toyota Avensis NGTC cars that will compete in the 2011 series in the hands of independent teams Dynojet Racing and Hughes Motorsport/Speedworks.

The public and media were able to see the cars for the first time, but unfortunately track time was limited for Tony Hughes' Speedworks car after a number of teething problems, while Frank Wrathall's car has yet to run on track.

Despite the problems and the fact the first round is only a week away, Wrathall was still in a positive mood at Silverstone, commenting: “The Toyota looks amazing and we are all delighted with it. Yes, it is frustrating not to have done more testing, but the first few rounds were always going to be tough for us, so we will just get on with it and do the best, most competitive job that we can.”

24 year old Wrathall, who comes into the season as the reigning Ginetta G50 Cup, is keeping his goals for the season realistic, adding: “I'll be happy just to not look out of place, and to be as competitive as we can. The depth of quality of the field will make it very difficult for us, but I hope that over the course of the season we can show the car's potential and, most of all, enjoy ourselves along the way. We are pleased just to be a part of the BTCC: for such a small family team to be on this stage is a great achievement in itself.”

Hughes took to the track for a couple of shakedown laps before problems with the power steering and fuel pump. Like Wrathall, Hughes is positive despite the issues, saying: “I am sure that when we get the Avensis running smoothly that it will perform as amazingly as it looks. This was literally my first time at the wheel and the suspension, the brakes and so on all felt good. I am hoping to get to know the car better in testing next week.”

PR Chief for Toyota GB Scott Brownlee commented: “GPR Motorsport, Dynojet Racing, Hughes Motorsport and Speedworks are to be congratulated on readying the cars in time for this important public showing, and making such an amazing job of their presentation; the Toyotas were certainly drawing many admiring glances in the pit lane. The hard work is far from over, though, and we are right behind them as they battle to make it to the grid at Brands Hatch.”

Both Wrathall and Hughes are carrying logos on their cars in support of the British Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal.