Dynojet's Toyota will once again be the only Avensis on the BTCC grid to be powered by the 2.0-litre turbocharged Toyota engine developed by X CTech R, and Wrathall believes it will be an advantage: “After two years of development, we are in a good position with the engine. It's already very powerful and we are further developing it to make sure it's bullet-proof.”
There are a number of changes planned to the BTCC regulations for the coming season, not least the adoption of an F1-style tyre rule which demands that every driver must use soft-compound Dunlop slicks in one of the weekend's three races. Wrathall is unsure how it will pan out: “We've not been able to test the tyre, so it's impossible to say how much quicker it will be, nor whether the tyre will last a full race distance, which is quite a concern. Generally, a softer tyre is not as durable, so even if the tyre is quicker over the first half of a race, if it then drops off dramatically it might actually hamper your chances.
“It will be interesting, and I think there will be quite a bit of confusion at the start of the year. I'm sure that the bigger teams will get their heads around it quicker than the smaller ones.”
Wrathall hopes his third full season of BTCC competition will cement his reputation and help lead to a long career in touring cars. “I'd love to still be in touring cars in five years. If I had to stop tomorrow, with two years in the BTCC and having won a race, I'd say that I'd achieved more than I ever imagined. But I always want to do well and to progress, and to be still in touring cars in five years time would be a massive achievement. And if I was, I'd like to think it was because I'd proved myself to be a genuine title contender. Which would be a nice feeling,” he concluded.