Our GT86 Racing Project is well under way, read on to see how we have modified our GT86 from a standard road car into a race car in just 1 month!
Toyota GB supplied the car to us on the 12th July 2012, we are working with Autocar magazine who will cover the story in a series of features starting with the standard car and following its progress and modifications to compete within the Toyota Sprint Series.
Autocar's Steve Sutcliffe will join Fensport's Adrian Smith as the lucky drivers who will be the first to race the GT86 in the UK :) The pair will be competing on the last 3 rounds of the Toyota sprint series in preparation for a full championship assault in 2013.
Diary - Planned modifications and timescales 2012
12th July 2012
GT86 Delivery :)
14 & 15th July
Car on display at Marshalls Toyota Peterborough, GT86 Launch and Open Day
16th July - Development Commences
The first steps to modifying the new car was to measure all the suspension and understand how it all works, a BC Racing coilover kit was installed without springs so we could measure bump steer, toe & camber change etc and get a real understanding of how the suspension works. This is very important to learn on a brand new car so later we can alter the handling to suit.
Whilst working on the suspension it was soon very apparent that there is a lot of tension within the standard rubber bushes. As well as having no adjustable camber on the car. These were areas we wanted to improve.
Next step was to install different offset wheels to attain the correct fitment with the widest possible track without fowling the arches.
Parts fitted so far
BC Racing Coilover kit 5kg front and 5kg rear springs, 32 way adjustable.
SuperPro polyurethane bush kit (releases the tension in the suspension arms, whilst keeping correct location)
- Racecar Battery, an amazing 1.6kgs, has saved nearly 12kgs off the front of the car.
- Ultralite Atec wheels (painted pearl white) 8 x 17 ET35 perfect fitment and the correct size for our tyres.
- Toyo R888 GGG tyres 225/45/17
- Carbon mirrors and rear wing
Blitz panel filter and Blitz high pressure radiator cap
- S Wave Camber adjustable rear arms
- Remove interior trim, stereo and airbags, replace steering wheel with a Momo suede wheel, we have still kept the steering angle sensor so all traction and stability controls work as standard. Install Recaro race seat. Trim around the driver has to stay at the moment until a roll cage is fitted.
- Corner weight and wheel alignment
- Weight is down to 1120kgs with 1/2 tank of fuel :)
12th August - 1st event - Toyota Sprint Series
Fensport GT86 stuns the competition and takes 1st overall in it's very 1st event :)
To be the 1st to race the GT86 in the UK was a very proud moment for both Steve & Adrian, Adrian was 1st up and immediately set the pace, Steve only a few tenths behind. Both drivers were amazed by the sheer pace of the car, the corner speed was immense and both continued to push as hard as possible. The new handling characteristics were very obvious both inside and out of the car.
Both drivers were also driving a standard GT86 to compare the differences between them. The Fensport GT86 was an astonishing 4 seconds quicker over 3/4 of a mile track proving the modifications have made a substantial difference!
The final result was Adrian winning 1st overall, and Steve taking 3rd overall :) What a debut for the Fensport GT86, it has now earned it's new name Fensport GT86R :)
Modifications resume and the Fensport team have certainly been very busy!
In preparation for the next round of the Toyota Sprint Series, the Fensport GT86 has undergone another massive transformation including....
Toyota Sprint Series, Round 4, Croft Circuit
A fantastic result at Croft Circuit for our GT86R, 1st in class and 3rd overall against some stiff opposition with much more power :) Adrian's fastest time was 92.76 just 1.1 seconds off of 1st place. The car was also driven by Matt Saunders from Autocar and Matt put in a very creditable drive to 4th overall with a 95.59s. Both drivers also drove a standard GT86 in the 'Street Class' Adrian finishing 9th overall. The Fensport GT86 proved its modifications once again by being 6.8 seconds faster than the standard car over just 1.7 miles :)
Thank you to Brian for the on track pictures :) Motorsport photography at Saidro.com
Modifications resume in preparation for round 5 of the Toyota Sprint Series
Fensport lightweight crank pulley, Fensport oversize alternator to reduce alternator speed, and Fensport oversize water pump pulley to reduce water pump speed. All the pulleys together save nearly 2kgs off the rotational mass.
Lightweight Carbon propshaft saves 4.65kgs off the rotational mass.
Ecutek ecu mapping - Fensport are now an authorised Ecutek tuner for the GT86 and BRZ, the first maps have been done and showing 218bhp and 171 lb/ft torque :) Our modifications listed above and our mapping using the Ecutek software has gained approx 25 bhp and nearly 20 ft/lbs , nicely extending the torque and power curves
Also added is the fantastic Race Rom features which provide Full Throttle Shift, Launch Control and Auto Blip on downshift.
Toyota Sprint Series, Round 5, Snetterton circuit
After our last round of modifications, new power output and lighter weight we were looking forward to the final round of the Toyota Sprint Series. Using 1 and 3/4 laps of the new "100 circuit" we knew it would be tough to keep up with the more powerful turbo and 4wd cars!!
The morning started very wet and damp which is not so good for us, the key to quick lap times in a GT86 is corner speed, and with the slippery conditions we were some way off the 4wd turbo cars, however it started to dry and by lunchtime Adrian was leading the class and managed to sneak up to 2nd overall, before being knocked back to 3rd by Jonny Milner in his MR2 Turbo. Matt Saunders from Autocar Magazine was also driving the car and was getting progressively quicker. By run 7 and with fully dry conditions it was Adrian in 3rd and Matt in 4th, with 1 run to go, both GT86 drivers pushed the car and driver limits, both improving their times and Adrian snatching 2nd overall Jonny and Matt 4th. A fantastic result considering the much more powerful opposition.
3rd & 4th November
Our Fensport GT86R will be on display at the Silverstone Motorsport Show on the Toyo Tires stand, pop along and take a look.
After the show the car will be stripped and modified further in preparation of a full championship in next years Toyota Sprint Series.....
What a fantastic start to our 1st year with the GT86, After competing in only 3 rounds we have finished an impressive 1st at Barkston Heath, 2nd at Snetterton and 3rd at Croft, against a wave of 4wd turbo competitors. In the last race at Snetterton we finished a mere 0.44 seconds behind a 400 BHP Celica GT4.
We have absolutely fallen for the GT86, a fabulous car even in standard form, the Fensport car is now on a another level, handling is sublime and almost a game changer, the low centre of gravity coupled with wide track and our suspension modifications have produced a simply stunning car to drive. All of our modifications have been documented above and we have done our best to keep the car real, just sensibly priced bolt on parts have been used and we feel that the future for the GT86 is very bright indeed :)
We are very much looking forward to the winter break so we can continue our GT86 development programme which is expanding at an incredible rate, with many parts for both road and race cars in the pipeline, be sure to check back soon.
We would like to thank the following sponsors, for their support, and for making it all possible :)