The BTCC’s Toyota Avensis-based ‘Next Generation Touring Car’ has moved a step closer to its competition debut following extensive wind tunnel testing at the UK’s leading aerodynamic analysis facility, MIRA.

Built by GPR Motorsport, the Avensis racer will make its competition bow in the opening rounds of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch on 3 April.

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The NGTC Avensis was joined in the MIRA wind tunnel by a road-going model, on which TOCA technical staff had installed a rear wing to help establish a baseline for the car’s aerodynamics.

“We needed to fix a position for the rear wing, based on the aerodynamics of the road car, which gave the levels of downforce we were looking for,” said the championship’s technical director, Peter Riches.

“I am pleased to say that this was quickly achieved, and it means that we now have a base line for all cars built to the NGTC regulations and have saved a lot of development time and potential expense for the teams.”

Two privateer teams – Dynojet and Speedworks – have so far committed to running an Avensis, and it is hoped their example will be followed by others looking to take advantage of the reduced costs of development associated with the new car.

Toyota models have a long and successful history in the BTCC: three championship titles fell to Corolla drivers Win Percy and Chris Hodgetts in the 1980s while the Carina racked up numerous race victories in the ’90s with drivers such as Julian Bailey, Will Hoy and James Kaye.

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ArchieArchie K

Wednesday 26 January 2011, 20:32 GMT

Counterpoint – The problem with the BTCC

Although Toyota’s entry in the 2011 BTCC championship with a Next-Gen turbo-engined car might give Ben Edwards and Tim Harvey something more to talk about on TV, surely this still falls short of what BTCC really needs? If you’ve ever watched the popular Japanese car programme Best Motoring, then I think you’ll agree that a bunch of standard looking sports cars being driven hard around a circuit is great fun to see.

Yes, some cars might be faster on the straights whilst others gain an advantage in the corners but surely that’s what makes it so interesting to watch? Rather than watching spiced-up family cars such as the Avensis competing in an equalised class system, wouldn’t it be more fun to replace these with more powerful (and lairy) rear-wheel drive road cars?

I’m thinking, C63 AMG Mercs battling against 1 Series M Coupes followed quickly by 911 GT3s (perhaps with some ballast!). This strikes me as being a whole lot more entertaining than watching a grid of Chevrolets compete against Vauxhalls, Hondas and Toyotas.

Pros: no more highly-strung 4-cylinder engines, proper cars that you might lust after and rear wheel drive. Cons: Are there any?


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