The new Team Toyota GB with Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Corolla is making great progress towards its racing debut in the 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship, completing a successful pre-season test in Spain. The car’s strong performance has left driver Tom Ingram – the reigning BTCC Independents’ Champion – bullish about his prospects in the UK’s premier motorsports series.
The new car, which brings the famous Corolla name back to the championship for the first time in three decades, followed up a shakedown session at Oulton Park with three days of testing at the Circuit Calafat in Catalunya last week.
Cameras were on hand to record the occasion and hear first-hand reactions from Ingram and Speedworks Team Principal Christian Dick. The film can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/vjNLNISWrvQ
“It was a really productive few days,” said Ingram. “Most importantly, the car felt absolutely superb. We didn’t really expect to be quick straight off the bat, but by the end of the first day we were already there-or-thereabouts. What was really encouraging was how well the Corolla responds to minor set-up changes. Its stability and braking performance are extraordinary.
“I’m really buzzing to be going into the season with a new car, and we are working tirelessly to make sure we are in a strong position by the first round. To get the benefit of so much testing is a major bonus, and hopefully we will be able to immediately fight at the front.”
Christian Dick added: “Everything went according to plan in Spain with no major dramas. We enjoyed good weather and put a lot of miles on the car, which has given us plenty of useful feedback. While there is still room to improve, we seem to be in pretty good shape and can be pleased with the progress so far.
“It’s been a monumental effort by everyone in the team to get to this stage and I think we can be quietly optimistic following our first proper run with the Corolla. That said, with less than four weeks to the start of the season, there’s no time to ease off the gas and we will keep on pushing flat-out between now and the first round at Brands Hatch.”
The Corolla will be out for further testing at Brands Hatch and Donington Park, venues for the first two race weekends of the season in April.