Toyota Team Thailand makes TMG GT86 Cup debut

The TMG GT86 Cup welcomes a new team for its second race of the season, with Toyota Team Thailand making history as the first Thai team to compete in the Nürburgring-based VLN series.

This Saturday (12 April) sees the second TMG GT86 Cup event of the year, with a four-hour race around the Nürburgring Nordschleife as part of the VLN race. Toyota Team Thailand has joined the affordable, exciting competition with drivers Arto Suttipong Smittachartch (58), Kiki Sak Nana (39), Nattavude Charoensukhawatana (40) and Nattapong Hortongkam (33).

Smittachartch is the Thailand Toyota Racing Development president and an ambitious amateur racer with a lot of experience. Kiki Sak Nana’s name should be known to some Nürburgring fans, as this Bangkok native gained his first Nordschleife experience last year in the 24-hour race. Back home, Nana is best known for his many successes in the popular Formula Drift series. Feeling more at home in circuit races on the other hand is Nattavude Charoensukhawatana, who over the past few years gained a plenty of experience in various sports cars. His biggest achievement came in 2001 when he became Asian Touring Car champion while in 2004 he finished second in the Porsche Asia Cup and he has also participated in the Le Mans Endurance Series. Nattapong Hortongkam made his name in Asian formula racing and in 1999 he was the Formula Asia champion.

The four Thai racers not only have to adapt to a new car in the shape of the GT86 CS-V3 race car, they also have to contend with the unpredictable Eifel weather. While back home it is summer and 30°C, in the comparatively cold German spring the Thai racers have to wrap up warm.

The TMG GT86 CS-V3 of Toyota Team Thailand will be prepared by the well-known German Leipert Motorsport team, which returns to the VLN after many years away. “Our new project with Toyota Team Thailand is a great challenge which we will gladly rise to: Our many years of experience and our success in the touring car and formula racing make us look forward to a productive cooperation with Toyota Team Thailand and the drivers,” said team boss Ingo Leipert.

Nico Ehlert, Principal Engineer Customer Motorsport: “I’m glad that we can welcome a new team to the TMG GT86 Cup. Naturally, we are proud that the appeal of the TMG GT86 Cup reaches as far as Thailand. I’m sure that Toyota Team Thailand and its drivers will make our series even more attractive.”

Interested teams and drivers will find detailed information on the TMG GT86 Cup, including the latest rules and regulations, at www.gt86-cup.com. Royalty-free high-resolution images of the TMG GT86 CS-V3 and the TMG GT86 Cup can be found at: http://goo.gl/JO3Yvu