Toyota has confirmed that its all-new Corolla Hatchback will return to the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) under the stewardship of Team Toyota GB with Speedworks Motorsport. The Corolla Hatchback will take to the track at the same time the production model arrives in British showrooms in Q2 of 2019.
Team Toyota GB are no strangers to the BTCC having memorably claimed back-to-back championship titles with the (AE86) Corolla GT Coupe in the 1986-87 seasons, and remained a front-running force in the competition through to the mid-1990s.
The 2019 Corolla campaign is being masterminded by Speedworks Motorsport, a team with a reputation as the BTCC’s leading giant-killers.
Speedworks Motorsport, based in Cheshire, entered in the BTCC in 2011, competing as an independent. Its new association with Team Toyota GB for 2019 sees the team step up to the ranks of the manufacturer-supported BTCC teams. Other manufacturer backed teams include Honda, BMW, Subaru, and Vauxhall.
However, it remains to be seen what powerplant the BTCC Corolla will use, as engines are governed to be no bigger than 2.0-litre, with turbocharging and direct-injection allowed – as per the FIA’s TCN-1 regulations. Power outputs are in excess of 300 bhp.
Production versions of the Corolla will be offered with a 1.2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder (also found on the C-HR) and two hybrid variants, a 1.8- and 2.0-litre which produce 121 bhp and 178 bhp respectively.
The car will be driven by two-time BTCC Independent Champion Tom Ingram. Ingram posted nine victories and regular front-running drives in the Toyota Avensis, securing both the Independent Team and Driver trophies in 2017 and 2018. He has competed with Speedworks Motorsport since his championship debut in 2014.
The opening round of the 2019 BTCC season will be at the Brands Hatch Circuit on 6-7th April 2019.