Toyota to enter new GT-86 in Britcar 24-hour

The new GT-86 will certainly turn a head or two at Silverstone.

TOYOTA is returning to the race track in September for one of Britain’s most challenging motorsport events – the Britcar 24 Hours.
The company will be entering a race-prepared version of its new Toyota GT-86 car in the Production Class of the Silverstone event.
Famous for its exploits in the British Touring Car Championship with Corolla and Carina models in the mid 1980s and 90s, the designs on the new racing car will pay homage to those of the AE86 from the mid-1980s.
While the driver line-up has yet to be announced, the first of the new GT-86 race cars is being built by GPRM, in Buckinghamshire, team behind the successful BTCC Toyota Avensis prototype.
Like the road car, the Britcar contender will be powered by a 16-valve double overhead cam horizontally opposed ‘boxer’ engine, delivering 197bhp.
The Toyota GT86 road car went on sale in the UK at the beginning of July.
The Britcar 24 Hours is the only round-the-clock race held in Britain for sports and GT cars and last year attracted a 55-car field. The action takes place on the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit over the weekend of September 22 and 23.
GPRM’s Gary Blackham and Roger King will oversee Team Toyota GB, and Blackham believes the GT86 will be a strong contender: “The new Toyota has all the makings of a great production class racer. We are concentrating our efforts on stripping back the chassis, lightening and strengthening it and of course equipping it with a roll cage and all the other safety gear required, as well as quick-refuelling equipment. Other than that, the GT86 will remain essentially in road car form.”
Team Toyota GB earned fame in the 1980s and ’90s thanks to championship victories with the Corolla in the British Touring Car Championship and UK rallying. The team’s last appearance was in the BTCC in 1995 with the Carina Es raced by Julian Bailey and Tim Sugden.

The Toyota Corolla GT competing in the BTCC.