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Speedworks unveils facelifted Toyota during Portugal testing

Speedworks Motorsport has unveiled a facelifted version of its Toyota Avensis, as the Cheshire-based team look to push even further up the British Touring Car Championship grid in 2017.

Tom Ingram took the team to their best-ever championship finish in 2016, ending the year in tenth overall in the drivers’ championship standings, including taking two wins.

With Ingram remaining with the team for 2017, the outfit are now looking to build on that success, and are embarking on an overseas testing programme.

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It brings the Avensis, which is the oldest NGTC car, having first appeared in 2011, in line with its road-going counterpart.

The car will be the only Toyota on the grid sporting the new look, and Team Principal Christian Dick believes that it represents the single biggest change to the NGTC car since it was introduced.

“This is the biggest single overhaul the Avensis has ever had, and we are confident that we have taken significant strides in every respect,” said Dick. “We decided towards the end of 2016 which direction we wanted to pursue and that gave us a head start on a lot of the groundwork.

“The boys have put in an immense effort over the winter, and what they have produced is a real testament to the strength-in-depth and design expertise inside this team. The car looks quite different from every angle, and we’re all extremely excited to see how it performs when it hits the track.

“The Avensis still has plenty of untapped potential, and our objective was to keep it fresh by bringing it right up-to-date. We carefully evaluated every aspect and identified quite a few areas in which we could make gains.

“The BTCC is so tight and intensely competitive that you have to carry on continuously developing because if you stand still, you will go backwards very quickly.”

Dick believes that the team will be able to continue the strong form they showed in 20165, despite a number of other teams also taking on extensive pre-season testing.

“2016 was by far our best season to-date in the championship, but we are certainly not going to rest on our laurels and we are all eager to take another step forward in 2017,” added Dick. “By the time we get to Brands Hatch for the first round, we intend to be every bit as strong if not stronger than we were 12 months ago.

“As a team, it is imperative that we are absolutely on top of our game throughout. We have to be gunning for the Independents’ crown this year – and if we can do that, there is no reason why we can’t also be in with a shot at the overall title going into the final weekend…”

Tom Ingram will put the car through its pace in Portimão this week, and added that the car has undergone numerous changes during the winter, not just with regard to the car’s appearance.

“I’ve spent a lot of time up at the Speedworks factory over the winter, closely following the changes to the Avensis, and I cannot tell you how much of a buzz there is about the package we now have underneath us,” said Ingram.

“On paper, we have improved the car pretty much across the board and if it goes even half as quick as it looks, we will be in good shape. I can’t wait to get out there!”

Speedworks Motorsport

Speedworks Motorsport

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