After battling to the chequered flag last year a team of four Toyota enthusiasts are returning to the Britcar 24 Hours in search of class honours and a top twenty finish.
Team Rogue Racing are, in fact, making a third visit to Britain's most gruelling race with the same driving foursome – Patrick Mortell, Simon Aris, Alric Kitson and Lee McKee – returning from twelve months ago. American McKee is flying in from Malaysia for event, Aris coming from Texas.
For 2011, however, the team are hopeful that performance modifications to their Toyota MR2 Roadster, as support from Toyota GB can push them up the leaderboard of the 24 Hours (October 1-2) among the 50-plus teams who will take on the endurance challenge.
“The MR2 is fitted with a 3.5-litre V6 engine,” explains lead driver Mortell, “a unit which is more used to delivering sufficient power to pull along a Lexus, so it's quite a proposition in an MR2 weighing around 1100 kg – particularly when we add a supercharger to boost power output to 350-400bhp.”
As well as support from Toyota – as part of the manufacturer's campaign to back British motorsport – the team have backing from several other big name companies, including Alpinestars and Microsoft.
The computing giant are using the race to promote the upcoming Forza 4 Xbox 360 game, with demonstrations taking place in the paddock.
Mortell is “quietly confident” of good finish, but remains mindful of the minefield of potential problems that lie ahead. He said; “I would like to think that so long as we don't have any unforeseen problems the overall top 20 is a realistic opportunity, and with it a good finish in class.”
The Checkered Flag will be covering the full 2011 Britcar 24 Hours with live updates throughout the race.