CommentsThe first car built for a proposed two-car team by ABG Motorsport. With no manufacturer support the team had to start by striping a pair of road cars. In place of the usual 6-cylinder engines used in UK spec cars, power came from the 4-cyclinder unit used in the Japanese counterpart (badged as the Toyota Altezza RS200).
The build was beset with problems – engines were late arriving; suspension and uprights did not fit as intended, resulting in a hasty re-design; gearbox was shorter than intended meaning the propshaft wouldn’t fit. The opening meeting of the year came and went, and it would be just days prior to the Thruxton meeting before the car would have its first shakedown test. That too was far from hassle free with a ceased diff and bent rear wishbones curtailing the first run after just one lap.
By mid-season, Kurt Luby was replaced by Thomas Erdos, who had originally been intended to drive the second car. Erdos would continue with the team until the final round, when the car was driven by motoring journalist Steve Sutcliffe.
In early 2002, the team announced Sutcliffe as that season’s full-time driver but ultimately those plans fell through. After a period of development there were plans to return in 2004 with a much-improved car, but again the plans came to nought.
The car was eventually sold to Costa Rican racer Amadéo Quiros, and converted to LHD in 2007. Quiros ran the car in the Costa Rica and South American GT series for a number of years.