Speedworks Motorsport will join the BTCC ranks in 2011 with an NGTC Toyota Avensis. The British GT championship-winning outfit have become the first team to commit to using the new specification machinery which is designed to reduce the costs of competing in the series.
The team will use a Toyota Avensis built by GPR Motorsport after the car posted impressive times on its first public outing at Brands Hatch earlier in the month. Despite only being a prototype the car was within a second of the front-running pace at the hands of multiple champion James Thompson.
Cheshire-based Speedworks will run an Avensis for Tony Hughes, who competed in the Chairman’s Cup class in this year’s Ginetta G50 championship. Hughes brings with him sponsorship money from his companies Hughes Safety Showers and Hughes Shelter Systems and continues his relationship with Speedworks, who have run cars for him for the past 4 years.
Team boss Christian Dick – himself a top racer having clinched the British GT G4 Class title with Jamie Stanley – said: “It’s our first foray into touring cars and we hope it is part of a multi-year attack. Tony will be stepping up but he’ll have guys to race against on the big stage, Tony has been an integral part of our team over the last 4 years and he has come along way as a driver and we’re looking forward to developing his skills further before the start of the 2011 season.”
Dick has already paid the deposit for the build of the first car and will also use the NGTC TOCA engine provided by Swindon Racing Engines. The same engine already made its debut this season under the bonnets of Andrew Jordan and David Pinkney’s Vauxhall Vectra’s. Dick has also hinted at the possibility of a second car in the team. “We want to look at getting a second car with someone quick who can run near the front.”
Speaking about the new generation of cars set to enter the BTCC from 2011, Dick added: “I was there at Brands and was impressed. To get from idea to the track so soon and be that quick was really good. With a lot more testing and development it’ll be right on the money.”
Speedworks are due to take delivery of the car in the next three months. Thereafter the team plan to embark on a programme of testing to have the car ready for the first race of the season on 3rd April 2011.