Ingram and Speedworks unveil their revised Toyota Avensis for the 2017 BTCC

Ingram and the new car - Photo courtesy of Speedworks MotorsportSpeedworks Motorsport have shown off their new facelifted Toyota Avensis at Portimao in Southern Portugal as they begin several days testing with the new car.

The team and driver Tom Ingram are hoping the new car will take them to the independents title as well as possibly giving Ingram a shot at the overall crown.

The Cheshire based team are running a single car this season for Ingram as Matt Simpson’s Honda will now be run by team Dynamics. They had their most successful season in the BTCC so far in 2016 when Tom Ingram scored his first pole and victory in the season opener at Brands Hatch, he won again later in the season at Silverstone and was usually in the fight for a podium finish on most weekends. On top of that he was the fastest qualifier in the field when you average out the qualifying times over the season. The strong results put him fourth in the independents title with Speedworks taking third in the independent team’s title.
The new car’s changes aren’t limited to the cosmetic alterations to the front and rear with changed, aerodynamics, cooling and damping also worked on over the winter.

“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 Speedworks boss Christian 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.”

He continued to talk about the teams strong 2016 and it’s 2017 aims;

Ingram and speedworks had a strong 2016 (photo by Marc Waller)“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. 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 is every bit as enthusiastic as his team boss

“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,” he revealed. “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!”

The team will test in Portugal this week before returning to the Uk and the season launch on March 16th at Donington park. By Marc Waller 

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