Two of the other drivers who will join the team for the Hankook 24 Hours of Silverstone at the beginning of April shared with me the opportunity for a first test of the Rogue Motorsport Toyota GT86 at Mallory Park on Sunday. The early damp conditions soon gave way to a windy, sunny day and by lunchtime the track was essentially dry. Our car was fitted with a set of nearly new Toyo R888Rs – that’s the new version of Toyo’s popular road-legal semi slick. The set coped extremely well to a full day’s running.
The car proved extremely easy to drive with a great short throw gear shift and very handy auto-blipper. Its a more comfortable environment than the MR2 I’ve briefly raced in before, with more headroom so I didn’t find myself hitting the roll cage with my helmet all the time.
We got some in-car footage using a Ricoh 360 degree video camera, but we think its gyro-stabiliser was confused by the rigid mounting to the car’s roll cage. The footage here is from my short red-flagged (not my fault!) session just before lunch. I did two other sessions after this and on the last one I drove it until it more or less ran out of fuel.
The car is being tested again by some of the other drivers at Donington soon but I’m looking forward to a day on the Silverstone GP circuit, possibly with the Hankook slicks we’ll be using during the race, by which time the team will have made additional modifications to the car including an AccuSump (to prevent oil starvation) and a removable steering wheel (which should make driver changes a bit easier).