Another carmaker with a sense of humor today is Toyota’s UK division that announced it will enter its new Proace van in the newly-established British Touring Van Championship. The Japanese carmaker said three UK independent touring car teams have already signed up to use the new race-prepped Proace vans.
“The Touring Van Championship is just the kind of cost-conscious racing Britain needs,” said championship spokesman Gideon ‘Gig’ Gleman. “The Proace carries up to 1.2 tonnes in its 7m3 loadspace, so everything you need to go racing can be carried in the back. No big trucks, no catering wagons, no fancy-dan hospitality units – if it won’t fit in the Proace then it’s not needed at the circuit.”
If the previous quote didn’t convince you it’s a joke, what follows is more likely to do the job. Toyota says it has tested the racing Proace’s handling through 24-hour lane-switching manoeuvres on the M62, while off-the-line acceleration has been tuned in the sequence of traffic lights along the A4 west of London. Toyota also added that the Proace will be racing at the…Nürburgring, competing in the annual Lastkraftwagenpokal meeting along the circuit’s Flair Loop.
There are also negotiations for the Proace to join the Avensis touring cars in the British Touring Car Championship before the end of the season, with the van to be rebranded Avansis in honor of the occasion, Toyota says.
The Touring Van Championship’s spokesman said it is nothing unusual with the Proace competing in BTCC, as Volvo raced an estate car back in the 1990s. He added Toyota has already raced trucks in America, offering the Tundra pickup from NASCAR’s Camping Truck World Series as an example. The Volvo reference adds a touch of authenticity to the story, so what do you think about Toyota’s April Fool’s joke?
By Dan Mihalascu