If you’re familiar with Australian drifting, there’s a fair chance the name Beau Yates will sound familiar. For good reason, he’s one of our very finest in the sliding circles.
Over the last few years Beau has built up a name not only for some seriously skillful driving but also for the almost obsessive/compulsive level of detail that his Drift Missiles have been presented with.
Let’s not beat around the bush, if you were a car, being a drift car would be what we’d associate with going to hell. You get abused frequently, you get mishandled, you get pushed to be millimeters away from breaking point, and that’s on a day when everything goes right.
No, If I was a car I think I’d rather take my chances as a taxi or something less intense than a drift missile. Just listen to that name. Drift Missile. Fast, Violent and right on the edge of control. It’s pretty appropriate.
His previous missile was the Toyota AE86, Hachi Roku. A real modern classic with a legitimate cult status across the entire globe. Not only was it an AE86, but it was a super clean AE86! Such a rarity down here in Aus. Just as the Aussie drift scene evolved, so did the car.
The original 86 evolved from the mildly modded machine, similar to what everyone drove back in the day, to an absolute weapon by the end of it’s run. As the Aussie drift scene has continued to progress so did Beau and his car. But limits do exist, and the 86 was being pushed well beyond it’s limits and it was time to move on and step up to the next level. But what to move on to? Toyota saw the potential in Beau and his team and stepped in…
With more power, a more rigid chassis, a wider track and better steering the new completely race prepped 86 is going to fry some tyres and turn some heads. The ability of this car is almost disguised by the show car looks and presentation. Let me assure though, this rocket was built for one thing and one thing only. Getting very sideways at ridiculous speeds!
The central piece of the new puzzle, and I almost mean that literally, was shoe horning the much longer 2JZ straight 6 into the tiny 86 body. As it sits now, the engine is almost flush with the firewall.
To help make the long block fit the radiator was relocated to the boot. The engine bay is packed tighter than a sushi roll.Other changes include Wisefab front and rear arms with BC shocks. The entire geometry has been changed to suit the super high speed skids.
The steering has been changed over to a hydraulic system from the standard electrical system, this should help give Beau a little extra feeling through the direct connection between him and the front wheels of the vehicle.
The gutted interior saves plenty of kilograms, and also looks pretty damn neat. Anything that isn’t essential no longer exists. The effort that Beau’s team has gone to on the chassis is pretty clear when sitting in the driver’s seat.
A livery change is expected in the near future. The current scheme on the car is looking pretty trick. It’ll be hard to top the current look, but I’ve been assured that the next livery plans are under way and things are shaping up nicely. We’ll have to wait and see.
I wasn’t called out just to shoot the car though, I was called out to check out how the new 86 would run at it’s first shakedown with the new set up. The car was prepped and it was time to rock and roll.
It goes hard, very hard! After about 3 laps of the tiny peanut track Beau was harnessing the full 500+ hp of the new engine and was linking ALL corners at a decent pace. Pretty impressive when you factor in that he hasn’t driven since November, and has never driven the car with such a radical setup.
The chassis was firmer, the power is up, the steering is completely different, the weight distribution is off and the suspension geometry are all different. Still… Beau was frying tyres like he’d been driving with the new car the whole time!
The whole team was stoked and super impressed! There was one issue though, the throttle was starting to stick after some high RPM’s. The car came back out for a quick inspection and the culprit was found. A $30 throttle cable!
A firmer spring was needed to fight against the crazy in rush of air.
If all that went wrong during a full pace run of a completely new package, the guys turning spanners must have been doing something right.
The spring and throttle cable issue has now been fixed, last weekend saw Beau and the new machine Qualify first at the Hi-Tec Drift All Star Series, and eventually finishing in 2nd place!
We’re all looking forward to seeing how far Beau and his next level Toyota 86 will push the Aussie Drift Scene.