In the 1980s, the Toyota Corolla AE86 made a name for itself on the streets thanks to its rear-wheel-drive layout, high-revving twin-cam engine, and relatively affordable price. Not surprisingly, those same characteristics made it a popular choice in motorsports as well. The 2017 Toyota 86 has big shoes to fill since it shares its name with an enthusiast classic, and now the racing version will attempt to live up to the old model's competition record.
Toyota will enter a modified version of the 86 called the Toyota Motorsport's GmbH (TMG) 86 Cup Car into the Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) starting with the double-header race this weekend at the Utah Motorsports Campus in Tooele, Utah. The car's engine and transmission are stock, but the suspension, brakes, engine tuning, and safety equipment are all modified for competition.
Craig Stanton, a former GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series GT and Continental Tire GS class champion with over 30 years of driving experience, will pilot the TMG 86 Cup Car. The 86 Cup will be competing in the TCA class against the MX-5 Cup, Civic Si, Kia Forte Koup SC, Mini Cooper S, and even its predecessor the Scion FR-S.
"We have a great combination of team and driver ... so we're cautiously optimistic for solid results in the Utah double-header," said Keith Dahl, motorsports general manager for Toyota Motor North America, in a release.
We already know the road-going version of the 86 lives up to the AE86's reputation for affordable fun, having sampled one in a recent First Drive. If all goes according to plan, the 86 Cup can continue building on the AE86's motorsports legacy.
Fans can watch the race live on Motor Trend on Demand on August 12-13.