Toyota's three Avensis stars are to face their toughest test of the season when the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship rolls into Thruxton this weekend.
The Hampshire circuit's fast, sweeping corners are some of the most daunting in the country seeing cars hit 150mph through them. Dynojet Racing's Frank Wrathall faces Thruxton with a markedly different machine to the Avensis he raced last season, while neither Speedworks Motorsport drivers, Adam Morgan and Tony Hughes are yet to experience Thruxton in their BTCC Toyotas.
Twenty-three year-old Morgan said: “It is going to be a bit of a leap into the unknown. I have competed before at Thruxton and have had some tuition there, but no testing at all in the Avensis, so it is going to take me a few laps to get up to speed.”
The reigning Ginetta Supercup champion, Morgan heavily crashed his Ginetta at Thruxton in 2010: “I went off at Church corner and flipped over the barrier. Fortunately I was not at top speed at the time but it's not something I want to try again.”
Morgan is hoping to follow up his successful Donington Park weekend with more points scoring finishes, with teammate Tony Hughes looking for similar results at Thruxton.
After missing the 2011 Thruxton races, it will too be Cheshire-based businessman Hughes' first outing there in the Avensis. He commented: “I haven't driven the Toyota there and it's going to be exciting, I am sure.”
Frank Wrathall is looking to repeat his Donington performance, after last year's Thruxton outing was hampered by teething problems with a then new car: “Donington was just what we needed – three solid races and no damage. Hopefully we can repeat that and perhaps even do a little better.”
Garstang-based Wrathall commented about his 2011 outing: “In what little time get did get on track we were soon on the pace, so I hope that with the advances that we have made with the Toyota we will be even closer to the front. I have always gone well at Thruxton, but it is an unusual track and you can never really be totally sure how things will pan out. We will certainly be giving it our best shot.”
Wrathall currently holds 13th place in the overall Drivers' Championship and is lying 11th among the independent drivers, with Dynojet Racing ninth in the Teams' Championship.