The 92nd Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is kicking off this weekend, and we’ll be there with the GReddy Racing and Evasive Motorsports teams to make our third consecutive Race to the Clouds. Our first run came in 2012 when we campaigned the Scion Racing Rally xD and the GReddy Racing Scion tC, while in 2013, they were joined by the Evasive Motorsports Scion FR-S.
This time around, we’re mixing things up by bringing a pair of FR-S to the mountain – the Evasive Motorsports build from 2013, and the GReddy Racing Scion FR-S from Ken Gushi’s 2012 and 2013 Formula Drift seasons.
It goes without saying that drift and hill climbs are two very distinct motorsports disciplines, with each stressing cars in different ways. So, to prepare the GReddy Racing Scion FR-S for PPIHC, here’s the full rundown on the changes GReddy Racing has made:
1. Enlarged Fuel Cell – 5 Gallons (Drift) to 15 Gallons (Hill Climb)
A typical drift battle starts and ends in 30 seconds give or take. A run up Pikes Peak takes much longer – the course record set last year took 8 minutes and 13 seconds of HARD driving over 12.42 miles and 4,270 feet of elevation. That means more fuel consumption, and therefore more fuel.
2. Smaller Turbo – GReddy T78-33D (Drift) to Garrett GTX3576R (Hill Climb)
Why a smaller turbo? The larger GReddy turbo in the drift setup benefits from the luxury of having a launch strip to spool up, and longer, sweeping curves to stay in the higher power band that comes with a bigger, more powerful turbo. That’s not the case at PPIHC, where its 156 turns force cars to jump in and out of boost as they pass through corners. A smaller, more responsive turbo helps the GReddy Racing Scion FR-S get back up to speed more quickly – a necessity on the hill.
3. Smaller, Lightweight Intercooler – GReddy Type-29R (Drift) to GReddy Type-24R (Hill Climb)
The GReddy Racing Scion FR-S’ drift setup uses a bigger, thicker intercooler to counteract the heat generated by its larger turbo during drift runs. Since the car is running a smaller turbo for Pikes Peak, the smaller GReddy Type-24R two row intercooler allows them to save weight while cooling almost as efficiently as the Type-29R in the drift setup.
4. More Efficient Brakes – Project Mu Drift Spec Pads (Drift) to Project Mu Pro Racing Compound Pads with APR Brake Ducts (Hill Climb)
Since a drift run is shorter, at generally lower speeds, and with fewer corners, brakes aren’t exactly quite as essential as they are with most other motorsports. The same can’t be said for a hill climb, where brake fade or failure can send a car flying off the side of a mountain. The PPIHC spec GReddy FR-S has been upgraded with Pro Racing compound pads from Project Mu, as well as brake ducting from APR to keep them cool under heavy stopping.
5. Hankook Ventus TD Tires
One of the nice things about running up Pikes Peak is that cars don’t have tire width restrictions the way they do in Formula Drift. So, to make sure the GReddy Racing Scion FR-S is running with as much grip as possible, the car’s wheels have been wrapped in a staggered set of Hankook Ventus TD Tires – 235/45/R17 in the front, and 265/35/R18 in the rear.
6. MoTeC M130 ECU/C125 Datalogging Display
The car retains its drift MoTeC M130 ECU/C125 display from the drift setup, but amends it with a new Power Distribution Module with custom race-spec wiring, as well as and a modification for atmospheric adjustment taken from the Cosworth Pactel ECU. Driving all out on a course with nearly 5,000 feet of elevation change requires the ability to change air/fuel ratio on the fly to keep power moving to the wheels without harming the engine in the process.
7. Anti-Roll Bar & Suspension Spring Rate Adjustments
Hill climbs and drift courses place two wholly different kinds of forces on the car, and that change in force necessitates different suspension setups. The car retains its KW coilovers, albeit adjust for forward driving and rougher terrain, and has its anti-roll bars retuned for a more neutral setup. SPL Parts rear arms round out the list of changes made to get the GReddy FR-S through corners moving straight instead of sideways.
8. Limited Slip Differential – 2 Way OS Giken Superlock (Drift) to 1.5 Way OS Giken Superlock (Hill Climb)
A 2 way limited slip differential is ideal for a drift setup since it provides full lock on both acceleration and deceleration – not a necessity for drifting but certainly helps make it much easier. Comparatively, a 1.5 way LSD allows for full lock on acceleration and just a partial lock on deceleration. It’s a relatively small change, but one that should be the GReddy Racing Scion FR-S more nimble around under breaking around tight corners.
9. Revised Final Drive
In a hill climb setting, getting out of corners and back up to speed is more essential than in a drift setup where cars typically stay at speed or close to it. The final drive in the GReddy Racing Scion FR-S has been changed to reflect that. Though the car loses some top speed and gearing as a result, it shouldn’t be an issue with the amount of corners it’ll face at Pikes Peak.
10. New Livery
A car’s gotta look good making the hill climb, right?