The 2016 British Touring Car Championship kick-started this month at Brands Hatch, with the first of 10 events at 9 venues around the UK, comprising 30 races in total. The 2016 motorsport season is now in full flow, and the highly popular Dunlop MSA BTCC has a record full-season entry list, representing a massive 11 marques in its 57th year.
Toyota is one of those, with four independent teams unleashing the power of five Avensis saloons: Tom Ingram is driving for Speedworks Motorsport, Rob Austin for Handy Motorsport, plus up-and-coming Michael Epps, Chris Smiley and Jake Hill all representing Team HARD, running both the RCIB Insurance Racing and TLC Racing teams.
The first race of the season saw a 32-car grid on a level playing field - the introduction of new control components means that only a few cars still feature the same specification as last year, thanks to part of a mid-term NGTC regulation evaluation. The change also sees a new soft tyre compound brought into play, with each car having to use them a total of three times in each of the three weekend races (excluding Thruxton) during the course of the season.
At Brands Hatch, Tom Ingram finished first in qualifying and again in race 1, leaving him 9th in current standing. Rob Austin is placed 15th, Jake Hill in 19th, Michael Epps in 22nd and Chris Smiley in 25th, so all Toyota racers are in good positions to tackle the next event.
BTCC events are scheduled to be broadcast by ITV, so keep your eyes peeled for the five Toyota Avensis racers as we take on tough races throughout the 2016 season.