Following the arrival of Mazda earlier this year the GT4 class of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship could feature another Japanese manufacturer in 2013 following the announcement of a GT4-spec Toyota GT86.
The news comes less than a month after the UK racing debut of the new coupe at the Britcar 24 Hours. The Team Toyota GB squad finished eighth overall and third in class, running faultlessly throughout the race.
Like the Britcar example the GT4 variant will be built by GPR Motorsport – the same firm who put Toyota’s Avensis model on the BTCC grid for 2011.
“We always had a GT4 spec in mind while building the car for the Britcar24.” explains GPRM’s Gary Blackham. “It has a full FIA approved roll cage, ATL competition fuel cell, air jacks and more. The car has excellent handling, the drivers able to hustle even the top class cars through the corners. The only disadvantage was power as we ran a production standard engine (197bhp) and gearbox because that is what Toyota GB wanted. The car ran flawlessly, but we were at least 150bhp down on the class leaders. The turbo on the GT4 car will give the chassis the power to be fully competitive.”
The uprated four cylinder engine generates around 350bhp with GPRM directors Blackham and Roger King aiming to deliver the car for £100,000, prompting British GT championship manager Benjamin Franassovici to enthuse that the car could prove strong opposition to the established brands in the class.
“With our continued commitment to growing the class, having a cost-effective, competitive alternative to Aston Martin, Ginetta and Lotus, the brands that have largely figured in GT4, is a huge positive for us,” he said. “Racing in GT4 is often close, and for the right team using the new GT86 could be a title winning opportunity next season.”
Though blessed by the manufacturer no works team ins planned. However, Blackham and King assure there has already been interest from international teams, but are hopeful of at least two cars competing in UK series next year.