The Toyota GT86 won the third round of the Toyota Sprint Series at Barkston Heath on August 12, 2012, marking the sport coupe’s first victory in British motorsport. The Toyota GT86, prepared and piloted by Adrian Smith of Fensport in conjunction with Autocar magazine, competed in the Toyota-sponsored event for the first time and grabbed victories in both its class and the event overall.
The Toyota GT86’s win in the series also marks the first win for a rear wheel drive vehicle powered by a normally aspirated engine since the Toyota Sprint Series started in 2007. For the win, Smith clocked 54.55 seconds around the 0.75-mile Lincolnshire course, just six hundredths of a second ahead of the modified Celica GT-Four ST205 driven by Iain Gard.
Rounding up the top three is Autocar’s Steve Sutcliffe, who co-drove the GT86 with Smith. During the race, the GT86 used the standard 2.0-litre “boxer” engine and unmodified six-speed transmission. To suit the GT86 for the series, modifications were made to the suspension, wheels and track tyres. The vehicle’s interior was also stripped out and fitted with a racing seat in order to cut unnecessary weight.
The GT86 competed against a range of standard and modified Toyotas, and its domination of the series only showed the advantages brought by the elements prioritised during its development -- light weight, agility and strong grip. Since the Toyota GT86 only went on sale in the UK this month, one could only imagine the amount of preparation and effort made by Smith and his team at Fensport in just a short time to prepare for the event.