Toyota 86 for Drifting GP series

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Toyota will team up with former national drift champion Beau Yates to contest this year’s Australian Drifting Grand Prix series with a heavily modified 350kW version of its 86 coupe.


Yates, who is a Toyota Australia ‘ambassador’, won the 2007 championship in the spiritual predecessor of the popular 86, the Toyota AE86, and will make his competition return after a three-year break.


His Toyota Australia-backed 86 will make its debut at the first of four rounds of the 2013 Australian Drifting Grand Prix at Adelaide's Mallala Raceway on October 5.


The Australian drifting series will then move to Barbagallo Raceway in West Australia (December 7-8), Sydney Motor Sport Park (January 25-26) and Calder Raceway in Victoria (April 5-6).




Sydney-based Yates (pictured) said the lightweight rear-wheel drive 86 is perfectly suited to drifting.


“The 86 is an affordable sports car that's meant to be enjoyed by driving enthusiasts everywhere,” he said.


“Its chassis and suspension are so neutral and predictable, there's plenty of scope for a car nut like me to fully explore its dynamic potential.


“To convert a standard vehicle into a competitive and dedicated drift machine, my plan is to take out more than 250kg from the already lightweight 86 and more than double its power with a turbocharger and other engine modifications.


“My AE86 championship car was nimble and flexible, but the new 86 combines those qualities with spectacular go-forward speed.”


As expected, the 86 has become a hit with drift exponents globally, with four-times Nordic drift champion Fredric Aasbo successfully campaigning a turbocharged 86 in the North American championship.


Yates said he was inspired to enter the Australian title after meeting Aasbo in March at Calder Park during the Formula Asia Drift Championship round, where Aasbo drove a NASCAR V8-powered 86.


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