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.
Toyota’s much anticipated sports car – the Toyota GT 86 – has finally touched down in Europe at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, with sales set to commence in the continent in the summer of 2012.
Toyota designed the new GT 86 to be a driver-oriented vehicle that boasts of precise yet immediate response to steering inputs or throttle. As developed and engineered, the GT 86 is made for those who consider driving not just as a necessity but as a passion, as made possible by its ability to deliver pure driving enjoyment.
Underpinned by a new platform, the new GT 86 features a low and aerodynamic bodyshell that has been stretched tightly over its engineering hard points. Toyota chose to power its new 2+2 sports car – not with a heavy, large displacement engine – but with a small free-revving, horizontally opposed 'boxer' engine that sends power to the rear wheels.
Thanks to its lightweight and compact design as well as its low inertia and a low center of gravity, the new GT 86 is able to achieve an ideal power-to-weight ratio. In this configuration, Toyota goes back to its sporting roots while making sure that the GT 86 delivers optimal driving pleasure. After all, the new Toyota GT 86’s highly engaging dynamic attributes are offered with minimal electronic intrusion, ensuring that the driver is in control most of the time.
Toyota intended the new GT 86 to inherit the spirit of its former sports car known for their ability to deliver pure driving involvement. Thus, the goal for the new GT 86 to achieve a pure classic sports car experience was realized by a design penned by Toyota’s engineers and polished and fine-tuned in different competitions around the world.