Formula Drift is officially back on the Streets of Long Beach this Friday, and as part of our pre-season preview, we’re giving you the rundown on everything that’s new with each of the three Scion Racing drift teams this season. By now you’ll likely know that Ken Gushi and the GReddy Racing team are running a 2JZ motor in the GReddy Racing Scion FR-S, but what about Fredric Aasbo/Papdakis Racing and Tony Angelo/TAngelo Racing? Read on to find out.
GReddy Racing Scion FR-S
There’s a 2JZ-GTE pulled from a Toyota Supra under the hood of the new GReddy Racing Scion FR-S, but what else is new? For starters – there’s the entire chassis. While the team is still using the ZN6 as their platform of choice, this year’s car was completely built from the ground up with exactly one thing in mind – turning it into a precision drift machine tuned for Ken’s unique drifting style. In our testing, we’ve found the car more than capable of the near 800 horsepower that the 2JZ’s putting out, giving Ken the ability to be more precise with his inputs, something he hasn’t had the luxury of doing the last few years.
The extra power should go an extremely long way toward bringing Ken back to the top of the standings, while the GReddy team should be more than pleased with the reliability that comes with running the 2JZ. Though we’ll likely see the difference the engine makes almost immediately (look for smoother transitions from Ken at Long Beach, particularly through the move from Turn 9 to Turn 10), courses with higher entry speeds such as Texas Motor Speedway are where the new GReddy Racing Scion FR-S will really shine.
It’s going to be one of Ken’s most competitive seasons ever, and we can’t wait to watch him kick it off. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our footage of him putting the car through its paces: GReddy Racing Scion FR-S Drift Debut
Hankook Tire Scion Racing tC, prepared by Papadakis Racing
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That’s been the unofficial motto for the Hankook Tire Scion Racing tC for the last few seasons, and one that Fredric Aasbo and the Papadakis Racing team have been happy to abide by. In the years that have passed since the car first made its debut in 2010, Papadakis Racing has quickly turned it into one of the most competitive cars in the series, capturing podium finishes during every single season it’s been campaigned.
Its 2AR motor is still reliably pushing out over 800 horsepower to the wheels, making it potentially the highest output 4 cylinder engine in the series. Fredric, likewise, remains possibly the most consistent driver in the field, despite finding some way to improve each and every season.
So what’s changed? The Hankook Tire Scion Racing tC finally has a new livery after three seasons running the Need for Speed inspired wrap, and we think it’s a great look. Additionally, the new Scion tC Rocket Bunny wide body kit built for the car gives the car an even more aggressive look, and gives it the personality to match Fredric’s style.
TAngelo Racing Scion FR-S
And finally, Tony Angelo and his team are still working to develop the TAngelo Racing Scion FR-S to reach its full potential, but from seeing them shakedown the car, it’s clear that their efforts are more than coming along. The car remains largely the same both mechanically and superficially (save for new, more prominent Hoonigan sponsorship), which should give Tony more opportunity to feel his way out behind the seat of the car.
The TAngelo Racing Scion FR-S arguably has the best combination of chassis (no explanation needed) and power (lightweight 2AZ has demonstrably shown to be capable of handling large amounts of power, while preserving the FR-S’ natural balance) of any car in the series, and that’s something we fully expect to see Tony exploit this season. As a founder of Drift Alliance, Tony has already left his stamp on the North America drift scene, something we can’t wait to see him do to the upcoming Formula Drift season.
All said, it’s going to be a crazy season and we can’t wait to kick it off. Be sure to catch Ken, Fredric, and Tony on the Formula Drift livestream beginning this Friday, and follow us at @ScionRacing on Twitter and Instagram for live updates from the event!