The legendary “Green Hell” is the sporting home of the TMG GT86 Cup and next weekend the 45th edition of the ADAC Zurich 24-Hour Race will take place there. Although this popular event is not part of the Cup calendar, some of the regular teams will participate and fight for class honours on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife.
To give its teams the best chance of success, TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (TMG) has developed a new larger fuel tank for the GT86 CS-Cup car, doubling the capacity to 100 litres. Up to this point the GT86 CS-Cup was able to drive one hour with a full tank, which means 24 pit stops during the Nürburgring 24 Hours. Although the entire pit stop time over the race distance will not be halved, the time saving will be significant. “It will be almost impossible to equalize this advantage of the larger tank with faster lap times,” says Nico Ehlert, Principal Engineer Customer Motorsport at TMG.
For the development of the new tank, TMG has deliberately opted for a technically more complex solution. Instead of a standard built-in tank in the rear, TMG engineers have integrated the new tank on the underfloor, following the same location as the road car. “The sporty DNA of our vehicle remains unchanged. The centre of gravity is still low, and the lap times will increase only marginally despite the additional weight with a full tank,” explains Nico. A further advantage of this development is that the CS-Cup car is now even more competitive in other endurance series, including 24-hour races.
However, the new tank is not the only support of TMG for its customers, who can rely on a spare parts service in the paddock. In addition, TMG rewards the team with the highest ranking Toyota GT86 in the overall classification with prize money of €5,000 while TMG GT86 Cup partner B.R.M Chronographes provides exclusive trophies.
As a defending champion, the Pit Lane – AMC Saint Vith team is looking forward to another adventure in the Nürburgring 24 Hours following their V3 class victory last year. The Belgian entry will be the lone GT86 in V3, with other Cup teams participating in SP3 after extensive technical development of their cars, but that does not worry team boss Olivier Muytjens. “In 2016, we reached the chequered flag even with our CS-V3 ahead of the best-placed SP3 car, therefore we think everything is possible,” he said.
Cup regulars Ring Racing are enjoying the newfound freedom in the SP3 class as they prepare . “We of course also installed the new fuel tank,” says team boss Uwe Kleen, who has overseen even further development. “The rules of the SP3 class at the Nürburgring 24 Hours give us technically a bit more freedom than the Cup regulations. That’s why we are also working on the chassis and trying to get some weight out of the car.” In the GT86 Cup, Ring Racing uses its own car and also supports the Toyota Swiss Racing team. The four drivers of these two cars, opponents in the Cup, are starting the Nürburgring 24 Hours in the same car. “For us this is the perfect driver crew. All four drivers know the car and are all on a same good level,” adds Uwe.
Milltek Racing however recruited two new drivers for the Eifel classic. “The Nürburgring 24 Hours is certainly among the toughest in the world, that’s why we are delighted to have found two experienced Nordschleife drivers for our team. As a complement to our Cup drivers Dale Lomas and Lucian Gavris, Moritz and Werner Gusenbauer will join us,” said Steve Pound, Managing Director of Milltek Sport and Team Manager at Milltek Racing. “Their goal is definetly to win the class, even though we know that the competition will be strong.”