The all-new Toyota Corolla Hatch will be contesting in the 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship (BTCC), and the sporting series will be headed by Team Toyota GB with Speedworks Motorsport. Driver and two-time BTCC Independent Champion, Tom Ingram, has been appointed as the main guy in the hot seat.

The announcement marks Team Toyota GB’s return to the BTCC, and the Corolla will rival the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf in the road car market category. Team Toyota GB is no stranger to the series of course, having won back-to-back titles – in 1986 and 1987 – with driver Chris Hodgetts in a Corolla GT Coupe.

Ingram is no stranger to the BTCC series either. With nine victories and regular front-running performances in the Toyota Avensis, the 25-year-old helped secure both the Independent Team and Driver trophies in 2017 and 2018. He’s widely tipped as a future BTCC champion, and has been racing with Speedworks Motorsport since his championship debut in 2014.

The road-going Corolla will be built at Toyota’s Burnaston factory in Derbyshire and will go on sale in the UK beginning March 2019 (spring). The first race date for the Corolla BTCC will be the opening round of the 2019 season at Brands Hatch on April 6 and 7.

Ingram said “what we have accomplished as a small independent outfit, particularly over the last two seasons, has been nothing short of mind-blowing and demonstrates just what this little team is made of. To attract the support of Toyota is a phenomenal achievement and huge credit must go to Christian and Amy Dick, who have worked so hard to pull this deal together. For Team Toyota GB with Speedworks Motorsport, 2019 starts now and I cannot wait to see how it all unfolds.”

Team Toyota GB with Speedworks Motorsport team principal, Christian Dick added “our new relationship with them [Team Toyota GB] will enable us to take that final step and really push for the overall BTCC title. As a team, we are ready to pitch ourselves against the very best in Britain and, with Toyota GB’s backing, we are confident of doing just that.”