How the Avensis could change the face of motor racing

Posted on: 8/3/2016 1
How the Avensis could change the face of motor racing

The Toyota Avensis, built in Burnaston, has been selected as the test car for a planned shake-up of touring car racing.

A car which is manufactured in Derbyshire is to play a central role in shaping the future of a popular motor racing series.

The Toyota Avensis, which is built at the Japanese manufacturer's Burnaston plant, has been selected as the test and development car for the British Touring Car Championship.

Specialist engineering firm GPR Motorsport is working with Toyota to create a prototype Avensis which will be used to create a new set of regulations to help make competing in the championship more affordable.

The Avensis will be known as a Next Generation Touring Car and will be eligible to compete next season.

In the meantime it will embark on a rigorous testing programme with double BTCC champion James Thompson at the wheel.

Toyota UK's head of public relations, Scott Brownlee, said: "To be able to support the premier British motor sport series with the Avensis was a great opportunity for Toyota.

"The BTCC is a series we greatly respect and have enjoyed a long and successful involvement with in the past.

"While we've made no commitment to re-enter the championship with a works team at this time, we will be following the prototype build with great interest."

BTCC series director Alan Gow said: "We would like to thank Toyota for its generous and highly valued contribution to this project. The Avensis is an ideal platform for the new car."

Despite the circuit currently being closed, the BTCC is scheduled to hold a round this season at Donington Park on Sunday, September 19.

The Donington track has been shut ever since former leaseholder Donington Ventures Leisure went into administration after its failed bid to stage the Formula One British Grand Prix.

But its new leaseholder, Adroit Group, said last week that racing could resume in a matter of weeks after the completion of a £2 million circuit revamp.

The first high-speed tests since the track closed eight months ago are set to be carried out today, ahead of an inspection by both the world's and Britain's motor sport governing bodies, the FIA and the Motor Sports Association, on Friday.

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