The two new Toyota Avensis “Next Generation Touring Cars” (NGTC) received their public debut on Thursday at the Silverstone circuit today, a week before the start of the British Touring Car Championship. The Avensis racers went on display wearing the liveries of privateer teams Dynojet Racing and Hughes Motorsport/Speedworks.
The Avensis race cars will be driven by Frank Wrathall Jr. and Tony Hughes. “The Toyota looks amazing and we are all delighted with it,” said Wrathall. “Yes, it is frustrating not to have done more testing, but the first few rounds were always going to be tough for us, so we will just get on with it and do the best, most competitive job that we can.”
Both cars have been built by GPR Motorsport on bodyshells from the production line of Toyota’s Burnaston plant. Under the bonnet of Wrathall’s Avensis lies a 2.0-liter turbocharged Toyota engine developed by X Ctech R that puts out more than 300 horsepower. The team’s engineers hope this unit will prove to be one of the lightest and most powerful engines of the championship.
The 2011 BTCC will enjoy a record 27-car entry, with 10 different manufacturers represented: Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, Proton, SEAT, Toyota, Vauxhall and Volkswagen.
Out of the 27 cars, 13 different models will be fighting for honors: Audi A4, BMW 320si, Chevrolet Cruze, Chevrolet Lacetti, Ford Focus, “Global” Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Honda Integra, Proton Gen-2, SEAT Leon, Toyota Avensis, Vauxhall Vectra and VW Golf. Scroll down to see the NGTC-spec Toyota Avensis in action during preliminary testing.
By Dan Mihalascu