PLANO, Texas, August 2, 2017 —
Toyota Motorsport’s GmbH (TMG) 86 Cup Car will make its North American debut in the Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) racing series at Utah Motorsports Campus in Tooele, Utah, August 11-13.
Entered in the TCA class, the 86 Cup Car will do battle in the PWC’s double-header race weekend and is scheduled to compete only in the two Utah PWC events, taking place outside Salt Lake City.
“Bringing the TMG 86 Cup Car to Pirelli World Challenge presents an opportunity to test and showcase the ability of our Toyota 86 in a competitive racing series,” said Keith Dahl, motorsports general manager for Toyota Motor North America (TMNA). “The seasoned DG-Spec team won the PWC title for Scion in 2010 and we’re hopeful they can perform well with the 86. We have a great combination of team and driver with Craig Stanton to showcase the ability of this TMG-built 86, so we’re cautiously optimistic for solid results in the Utah double-header.”
The TMG 86 Cup Car will be driven by veteran road racer Craig Stanton, a former GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series GT and Continental Tire GS class champion with over 30 years of driving experience, and fielded by the Dan Gardner Spec (DG-Spec) Racing team. DG-Spec previously won the Pirelli World Challenge TC class championship with the Scion tC in 2010, and has also competed in GRAND-AM and other sports car and endurance series.
“It’s been a while since we won the championship in Pirelli World Challenge, but we’ve been at the track constantly over the last few years, testing, developing and racing in other venues,” said Dan Gardner, team owner and namesake of DG-Spec. “The team is really sharp and Craig is on his game. The Toyota 86 is ready to go and we hope to turn some heads in Utah.”
Gardner’s team recently won One Lap of America in the Toyota Sienna R-Tuned in 2016, and provides support for programs, such as the Land Speed Cruiser and Rally RAV4. The Rally RAV4 team of Ryan Millen and Rhianon Gelsomino recently clinched the American Rally Association’s 2WD championship.
The current 86 sees a return to Toyota’s history of sports cars and enthusiast motorsports. When the Corolla AE86 was launched in the United States in the 1980s, it earned a strong enthusiast following, while the car was simultaneously building a cult following in Japan as a drift vehicle. The 2017 Toyota 86 pays homage to the legendary car of the past, while proving itself to be an athletic force today.
"Our Toyota 86 is a potent car right out of the box, but it gets even hotter with a full lineup of TRD parts and accessories,” said Preston Dyer, national marketing manager of Parts and Accessories for TMNA. “TRD gets its inspiration where it counts – on the track – and we couldn't think of a better way to demonstrate that performance than by entering our TMG 86 Cup Car in Pirelli World Challenge.”
The decision to enter the TMG 86 Cup Car in PWC was birthed in the success of another Toyota 86. After a stock 86 with TRD parts and accessories bested the entire field at the local Spring Fling Autocross event in Southern California in March, Toyota officials began looking for additional opportunities to highlight the prowess of the Toyota sports car that also competes in Formula Drift.
The TMG 86 Cup Car, an enhanced, production model developed by TMG for the GT86 Cup, part of the VLN Series in Germany, had been making the auto show circuit as part of a Toyota 86 display when the idea was hatched to enter the nimble, stock race car in PWC’s TCA class. The TMG 86 Cup car is a production Toyota 86 prepared by TMG for racing competition. The TMG 86 Cup Car features a stock 86 engine and transmission, as well as TMG upgrades to the vehicle’s suspension, brakes and engine tuning, among other changes that include safety equipment for racing.
The PWC Utah event will mark the debut entry by a TMG 86 Cup Car in a North American competition. The TMG 86 Cup Car is only scheduled to compete in both PWC events at Utah Motorsports Campus.
Fans can watch the action live in person or via Motor Trend on Demand at https://www.motortrendondemand.com
. The PWC races will also be taped for broadcast on CBS Sports Network on August 23 at 8:00 p.m. ET.