So, you’ve just released a hot new sports car and want to prove that it’s both quick and reliable. What do you do? The answer is to take it to an endurance race, and Toyota is doing just that with the new GT86 coupe by sending it to the grid at the Britcar 24 Hours of Silverstone.
The Britcar 24 Hours of Silverstone (immortalized in an episode of BBC’s Top Gear) is Great Britain’s only 24-hour endurance race, and regularly attracts at least 50 cars in both GT and sports car categories. It’s a fitting place for a constructor like Toyota to prove the chops of its newest sports car, the GT86 coupe. To that end, Toyota is hard at work fitting the coupe with the necessary roll cages, safety gear, and new fuel tank/filler, as well as lightening and strengthening the car to prep it for race work. When the project is done, Toyota and race house GPRM will campaign the car in the production car class at Silverstone.
Toyota does have its work cut out for it, however: Britcar’s regulations state that a car entered in Class 4 (the GT86’s likely class) can have the maximum power-to-weight ratio of 5.2kg/bhp, where weight is a car’s dry weight +90kg and power is measured at the wheels. A bone-stock GT86 has a Britcar power-to-weight ratio of about 7.62 kg/hp (considering a total weight of 1280 kg and 168 hp output at the wheels). GPRM engineers will have to trim considerable weight and/or boost the engine’s output to meet that number.
On the outside, the racing GT86 is wearing the same paint scheme as the Toyota AE86 that took the British Touring Car Championship by storm in the mid-1980s. But it’s not the only Toyota racing in Great Britain at the moment: GPRM is also the racecar builder behind the new Toyota Avensis, which competes in British Touring Car Championship.
The 24 Hours of Silverstone kicks off this September 22 and runs to the 23rd.
Pictured is a rendering of the Britcar 24h GT86, the mid-’80s AE86, and Scion’s Formula Drift FR-S.