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.
As previewed last year, the GPR Motorsport-built 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.
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.
Click here to see behind-the-scenes images from the wind tunnel testing – and remember to check back to the blog or join us on Facebook and Twitter for further updates as the race season gets underway.