Toyota Men Take Top Ten In GT86’s UK Race Debut

by James Broomhead

Drivers Chris and Stefan Hodgetts, Richard Meaden and Neil Primrose celebrated the end of the 2012 Britcar 24 Hours from the podium after scoring a top ten overall in the UK racing debut of the Toyota GT86.

The Team Toyota GB quartet enjoyed a trouble free run in the GPR Motorsport built car.  I think the only work we had to do was to add about half a litre of oil during the whole race,” said GPR’s Gary Blackham. “All the pit stops went smoothly, the technicians – a mixture of seasoned GPRM regulars and staff from Toyota GB’s head office – worked very well together and the drivers were fantastic; they did everything they needed to and everything that was asked of them.”

“It is an absolutely fantastic result. We harboured ambitions of finishing in the top 10 and we are more than delighted with eighth overall. Given the differential in horsepower between our car and the other rather more modified racing cars in the division, third in class is a great result also.”

Running in Class Four the drivers were able to run full three hour stints, the team fitting in just inside the race regulations, double BTCC champion Chris Hodgetts given the honour of taking the checkered flag in treacherous conditions in eighth overall and third in class completing 512 laps of the Silverstone Grand Prix track.

“We drove the wheels off it for 24 hours,” said the elder Hodgetts. “We literally ragged the poor little car throughout, and as you would expect from a Toyota it responded with fantastic reliability.”

“The car is mega through the corners,” said racer/journalist Meaden. “Considering the short space of time the team had to do the preparation this result is testimony to them and to the performance of the car. Eighth place overall is a fantastic achievement.”

The car was powered by a 197hp ‘boxer’ engine. GPR now plans to develop a more powerful version for customers.

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