Toyota 86 Cup Car to Make North American Racing Debut

Four years after a spec-racing series was launched in its honor in Europe, the Toyota 86 Cup Car is ready to make its competitive debut on this side of the Atlantic.

Officially known as the TMG 86 Cup Car, the race version of the brand’s beloved coupe will run in the limited-preparation Touring Car A class of the Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) in Utah later this month. It will mark the first time a factory-backed version of the Toyota 86 has competed in a sanctioned North American sports car series.

“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,” Keith Dahl, head of motorsports for Toyota Motor North America (TMNA), said in a statement.

The car is an enhanced version of a production Toyota 86 prepared by Toyota Motorsport GmbH, the automaker’s Europe-based racing division. It features a stock 2.0-liter boxer engine mated to a stock six-speed manual gearbox, with output rated somewhere near 185 horsepower at the wheels. Otherwise, it boasts upgraded engine tuning, suspension and brakes, as well as a stripped interior and a complete roll cage.

ALSO SEE: 2017 Subaru BRZ Series Yellow Review

“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,” TMNA parts and accessories marketing director Preston Dyer said.

The only difference of note compared to the European spec-racing version of the TMG 86 Cup Car is the lack of a rear wing on the car set to race here, as the PWC’s Touring Car A class prohibits aero upgrades.

Set to debut at a PWC doubleheader at the Utah Motorsports Campus outside Salt Lake City Aug. 11-13, the car will be fielded by the DG­-Spec Racing team and driven by veteran road racer Craig Stanton. The car is only scheduled to compete in the two PWC races in Utah. Both races will air on CBS Sports Network on Aug. 23 at 8 p.m. ET.