One of the major talking points at Autosport International this weekend among the tin-top aficionados will be the new Team Toyota GB British Touring Car Championship attack.
While the Speedworks Motorsport team is working flat out to prepare the brand new factory-backed Corolla racer for the 2019 season, to be driven by '18 title runner-up Tom Ingram, the programme has already created a buzz.
The Team Toyota GB name has a huge heritage in the BTCC, as does the Corolla itself. The new version of the road car has been revealed to the public, but the actual car will not be on sale in Britain until late March or early April, which ties in perfectly with the beginning of the BTCC season.
The Corolla took its first BTCC title in 1982 with Win Percy at the controls, before Chris Hodgetts took back-to-back crowns in '86 and '87. Toyota was a factory team during the Super Touring years of the BTCC too, fielding the Carina model from 1991 to '95 before costs escalated and, with success hard to come by, it stepped down.
The world's largest car manufacturer always kept a watching brief on developments in the UK's top-top category, and has been a background supporter of the BTCC since the Next Generation Touring Car regulations were introduced in 2011. The Avensis model was the basis for the development of the new specification of car and several have appeared in the series since that point.
GPRM, the firm that built the prototype NGTC car, was looking for a manufacturer that wasn't represented on the grid at that stage to undertake the development work. Toyota was the option, and the UK arm of the firm agreed to supply the car.
Toyota has helped in the background with parts and support for various drivers over the course of those opening seasons of the new era of touring car racing in the UK.
There were two full NGTC-spec Avensis on the grid in that maiden season: one for Dynojet was driven by Frank Wrathall, and the other for Speedworks Motorsport was raced by Tony Hughes.
It was Speedworks' first tentative steps into the top flight of saloon car racing in the UK, and it has remained loyal to the Japanese firm ever since. Now, that relationship has blossomed into a factory deal.
Toyota GB's head of PR Scott Brownlee explains that the foundations of this agreement were set with the launch of the new car. Originally, it would have been an updated version of the Auris model but the firm's bosses decided to reintroduce the Corolla name for the car.
That name is synonymous with BTCC glory in many race fans' minds, and the parts of the deal all slotted together.
"It links in beautifully to the heritage and history of the Team Toyota GB name. The Corolla is perfect because, with this new model, we didn't want the Avensis out there. The timing was just perfect," says Brownlee.
"Also, when the cars won in the titles in the '80s, they were run by privateer teams with our support. By tying up with Speedworks, we have a similar philosophy. We are very conscious that we don't want this to be seen as a massive comeback, but we are helping Speedworks get the car on the grid."
"It's a huge responsibility for us because we are not just looking after our own brand, we are looking after an iconic motorsport name" Speedworks driver Tom Ingram
For Speedworks and reigning Independents champion Ingram, the factory deal is the next step in their journey together. Ingram joined the team in 2014 for his maiden BTCC season, and has developed along with the squad. He was a podium challenger in '16, a multiple race winner in '17 and an overall championship contender last year.
Ingram's development as a driver has been remarkable. He is one of a new wave of younger drivers who are beginning to dominate the series, along with the likes of Ash Sutton and Josh Cook. It is sometimes easy to overlook the fact that Ingram is a 25-year-old, and is only now entering his fifth campaign in the BTCC.
"We have been on this journey together and things have happened very, very quickly," Ingram explains. "We have gone from being a team where no-one thought anything of us to then getting a podium every so often and then on to a race-winning season and a championship tilt.
"This journey has happened over three or four years and naturally that journey has to go somewhere else and the next step has to come in - Team Toyota GB."
The Team Toyota GB name was revived in 2014 when the Toyota GT86 was born and turned into a British GT Championship racer by GPRM. Although that programme was not successful, the Team Toyota GB moniker rolled back the years, hence its use with the new BTCC attack.
"I think a few people might have remembered the Team Toyota GB name from their childhood," explains Brownlee. "It is just a good umbrella for us to put the motorsport operations under."
Speedworks has done the hard yards in the BTCC and is ready to flourish with a factory programme. The new car has been designed by Ingram's engineer - another source of pride for the team
And Toyota's input will raise the level of the whole operation. Ingram has taken nine career wins with the Japanese marque, but knew that there needed to be some fresh impetus.
"We could have gone into the new season with the Avensis. We know what works on the car and we would have just been tweaking things - it would have been an evolution," says Ingram. "Now we have got a new programme, it will be a blank sheet of paper, and sometimes you need that different challenge.
"It is a huge responsibility for us because we are not just looking after our own brand now, we are looking after an iconic motorsport name in Team Toyota GB."
While it will be a step for Ingram to front a factory-driven programme, it also marks a huge one for Speedworks, which was founded by Christian and Amy Dick in 2005 to run Mazdas and Ginettas in club racing.
The Northwich-based team has done the hard yards in the BTCC and is now ready to flourish with its first factory programme. The new car, which is currently seven weeks into its build, has been designed by Ingram's engineer Spencer Aldridge, and that is another source of pride for Christian Dick.
Aldridge has been with the team since he was a teenager and has done every job from sweeping the factory floor to engineering the entire car, and the realisation of the Corolla dream is as much of a staging post for him as it is for Speedworks and Ingram. Aldridge has worked on all aspects of the car through his development with the squad. He is the one who has designed the new Corolla.
Dick says: "It is a new challenge, but one that Spencer is more than capable of handling. He knows the car better than anyone, and he has worked on all aspects of the Avensis since we had it.
"He knows more about certain aspects of the car than I do, so I just leave him to it. There are certain things that we will look at together and I can offer some input, but it is mostly down to him."
While the detailed design work has been done, the results are unlikely to hit the circuits until mid-February when the crew will decamp to Spain for early testing. Even though the programme is at an early stage, Dick is enthused by the prospects.
"You just have to look at the aero of the car - it is very strong for a BTCC car, almost perfect," says the boss. "The footprint is perfect and there is hardly any overhang, which should mean that the handling is strong.
"Also, it is not as flat-backed as some of the other shapes on the grid which should help with the drag issues you can get. We should be in a very good place from the beginning."
That beginning will be at Brands Hatch, which hosts the opening round of the championship on April 7.
The Team Toyota GB name will return to the grid as Speedworks and Ingram aim to recapture the glory of its 1980s heyday.