Generation Game: GT86 provides on-track fun for ex-F1 racer and son

Mark & Callum Blundell

If you ever had driving lessons with a parent, you’ll know only too well how tense the situation can become as the experienced parent attempts to impart some driving knowledge and experience to their enthusiastic but half-listening offspring. And if your name is Callum Blundell the pressure’s even greater, for Callum’s dad is ex-F1 star and Le Mans winner Mark Blundell. That’s some act to follow…

20-year old Callum is well past needing normal driving lessons, and instead had the opportunity for some one-on-one track tuition from his racer dad behind the wheel of a Toyota GT86 from Silverstone’s driving experience fleet. With the weather bringing rain (and with it, the promise of even more tail-out fun), we had to head down to the home of the British GP to see how two generations of the Blundell family got on with the award-winning sports coupe.

Having recently discovered the front-engined, rear-wheel drive coupe from a myriad of positive online reviews and videos, Callum now drives a Toyota GT86 every day, enjoying the ‘fun’ factor produced from the combination of its brilliant chassis and free-revving 2.0-litre engine. And even on a wet day, the time spent exploring the GT86’s limits in the relative safety of a racetrack was well worth it: “The best thing about doing that was how fun it was, firstly. I could see the faster you get, the more you learn,” Callum says. “This would definitely improve your driving on the roads, improve your awareness and little things like braking distances. I’d 100% recommend it.”

Mark & Callum Blundell 3

Hopping into the driver’s seat to show Callum the various turn-in and braking points, corner apexes and racing lines, racer Mark couldn’t resist demonstrating the balance and predictability of the GT86 on the slick Silverstone surface.

Mark & Callum Blundell 2

Back in the pit garage, Mark’s racing experience and parental concern were evident as he identified what makes the GT86 so special: “I knew that at some point they’d want to have a sports car. If you’re going to press hard on the roads or the circuit, you need to have a car that’s going to give you some straightforward outputs from your inputs and not bite back.”

If that’s whetted your appetite, head down to your local Toyota dealer to discover the GT86’s fun factor for yourself.

By Andrew Biddle

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