With the start of the new Formula Drift season fast approaching, the Scion Racing drift teams headed out to Irwindale Speedway to get a few practice runs in, and give the media their first extended look at the refreshed cars.
Our day began exceptionally early, as the Scion Racing Urban Utility Vehicle arrived at the track before the sun had risen. The SR UUV serves as our base of operations at events, and it’s typically packed with Scion Racing gear and items for giveaways. This season, it’ll also be loaded with a new multimedia center, complete with pair of custom-built Forza Playseats.
Ken Gushi and the GReddy Racing team were the first to arrive, and their car was quickly set up so our photographer could capture a few photos of GReddy Racing Scion FR-S’ new livery. The wrap was designed by Jon Sibal – a long-time friend of Scion Racing who has previously worked with us on other builds and projects like the annual Scion Tuner Challenge at SEMA.
The refreshed GReddy Racing Scion FR-S also arrived with some modifications under the hood, as the team is running this season’s car with a new turbo setup, and a radiator that’s been moved into the trunk to improve its balance and weight distribution.
Ken drove himself to the track in his personal Firestorm Red Scion FR-S that also features some tuning done by GReddy. The car’s had a few modifications made to it since his last update, most notable, a new turbocharger that has it turning out a solid 250 horsepower at the wheels. As you can see, he’s pretty pumped about his pair of FR-S’.
Fredric Aasbo and the Papadakis Racing team made it out to Irwindale soon after, with the Hankook Scion Racing tC in tow. While the car is largely the same mechanically as it was last season, the Papadakis Racing team spent much of the offseason fine-tuning the 720 horsepower drift car.
Additionally, the entire front end of the Hankook Scion Racing tC was also replaced with the more aggressively styled hood, headlights, and bumper from the new 2014 Scion tC. We think the new look is going to turn some heads on the track, and especially with the Streets of Long Beach serving as a backdrop.
The GReddy Racing and Papadakis teams got settled in while Ken and Fredric posed for photos with the cars before they got them covered in tire debris and drift smoke. While we were hoping that we could include Tony Angelo and his new TAngelo Racing FR-S build in the team photos, he understandably couldn’t make it out as he was doing some last-minute tuning to his car on the east coast.
By the time the photoshoot had finished, it was nearing noon and members of the media had begun to file in. The day’s lunch came courtesy of the Seoul Sausage Co., and the Seoul Sausage Scion xB food truck that was built with help from Mike Vu of MV Designz.
While everyone was busy enjoying their meal, Ken and Fredric climbed into their cars and started getting down to business.
The Hankook Scion Racing tC and the GReddy Racing Scion FR-S were both firing on all cylinders throughout the session, and looked more than ready to take on the 2013 season. Likewise, Fredric and Ken were in top form, almost as if they’d spent the offseason giving drift lessons to keep from getting rusty.
Once Fredric and Ken decided that Irwindale Speedway had been sufficiently filled with tire smoke from their drift cars, they took a quick break to grab lunch while GReddy and Papadakis Racing swapped in a fresh set of rubber and made some minor adjustments based on the drivers’ feedback.
With everyone well-fed and Ken and Fredric warmed up, members of the media started to get suited up for ride-alongs with the drivers.
Round 1 starts THIS FRIDAY, April 12, the weekend before the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. If you haven’t already, grab your tickets to see Fredric Aasbo, Tony Angelo, and Ken Gushi at FormulaD.com. We’ll see you at the track!