TOYOTA'S AVENSIS MODEL BECOMES BTCC'S NGTC TEST & DEVELOPMENT PROTOTYPE The test and development car for the Next Generation Touring Car (NGTC) regulations that will shape the future of the British Touring Car Championship will be a Toyota ...
TOYOTA'S AVENSIS MODEL BECOMES BTCC'S NGTC TEST & DEVELOPMENT PROTOTYPE
The test and development car for the Next Generation Touring Car (NGTC) regulations that will shape the future of the British Touring Car Championship will be a Toyota Avensis, series organiser TOCA has confirmed.
Design and construction of this first prototype is well underway at specialist motor sport engineering company GPR Motorsport's workshops in Buckingham. Once completed a test programme will follow ahead of the car's public debut at the Dunlop-backed BTCC's final round of 2010 at Brands Hatch circuit, Kent (9-10 October).
As previously announced, former double BTCC Champion James Thompson has been appointed by TOCA as official test and development driver of the 'NGTC' machine that will become eligible for competition in the championship in 2011.
Although the Avensis prototype is effectively a demonstration model, BTCC teams will be free to choose their own model of car and engine to build up to NGTC regulations. It is expected that teams running an NGTC machine will save some 50 per cent compared to the cost of competing with a current FIA Super 2000-spec car. However, both types of car will be eligible to fight equally for outright championship honours through to 2013 at least.
Much of that cost-saving is down to a greater use of common components and GPR is currently working with Toyota - which has generously supplied both a complete donor car and a new bodyshell to the programme - and other BTCC technical partners such as AP Racing, Cosworth Electronics, Swindon Engines and Xtrac to prepare the first NGTC car ahead of its initial trial run.
Toyota UK's Head of PR, Scott Brownlee, said the company was delighted to have contributed towards the development of the BTCC's future with the Avensis which is built in Burnaston, Derby near the Donington Park circuit - scene of many a classic BTCC moment down the years.
He commented: "To be able to support the premier British motor sport series with the Avensis was a great opportunity for Toyota to help an 'old friend'. The BTCC is a series we greatly respect and have enjoyed a long and successful involvement with in the past. Whilst we've made no commitment to re-enter the championship with a works team at this time, we will be following the prototype build with great interest and look forward to seeing the car perform on its debut at Brands Hatch in October."
And added BTCC Series Director Alan Gow: "We would like to thank Toyota for its generous and highly valued contribution to this project. The Avensis is an ideal platform for the new car; it's fully suited to the NGTC ethos and, just like our new BTCC regulations, is proudly built in Britain."
Meanwhile, after a mid-season break, the 2010 BTCC re-commences with its sixth round (out of ten) at the high-speed Snetterton circuit in Norfolk this coming Sunday 8 August. Other rounds to follow are: Silverstone, Northants (Sun 22 Aug); Knockhill, Fife (Sun 5 Sept); Donington Park, Leics (Sun 19 Sept); Brands Hatch, Kent (Sun 10 Oct).