Team Toyota GB’s GT86 sports car had an incredible racing debut in the toughest race in the UK, claiming the No. 8 place overall and No. 3 in its class at the Britcar 24 Hours at the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit. Chris Hodgetts, Toyota’s double BTCC champion of the 1980s, led the four-man crew. The near standard GT86 was able to get through the 512 laps and 1874 miles around the Silverstone.
Joining Hodgetts on the driving strength were Stefan (his son), evo journalist Richard Meaden and Travis drummer Neil Primrose. Gary Blackham, who headed the team GPRM which prepared the car for the event, said that the outcome is “absolutely fantastic.” The company sought to end up in the top 10 and so it’s very pleased with the eighth overall finish.
He also said that being third in its class is also “great” considering the differential in horsepower between its car and the other racing cars in the division that had received more modifications. He also mentioned that the GT86 made a perfect run and only had to add just half a litre of oil for the whole race. The pit stops took place seamlessly.
The technicians, composed of experienced GPRM regulars and staff from Toyota GB’s head office, worked harmoniously while the drivers’ performance was great. The drivers took three-hour turns and each put in two stints. At the start of the race, Stefan Hodgetts was behind the wheel. In this first stint, he set the record for Toyota’s fastest lap. His 61-year-old father took the honor of getting the chequered flag.