Fredric Aasbø: Behind The Wheel Of Rs-r’s V8 86

Following up on Dino’s excellent feature of the brand new Team RS-R V8 86, it was clear that the build and the story truly engaged you Speedhunters readers. Going over the comments, many of you seemed to really appreciate the ingenuity and the creativity demonstrated by RS-R, and to others the car is “just another V8 swapped” drift build.

I love how diverse the Speedhunters content actually is – every corner of the automotive world has been or will be covered at some stage. However, I think that what brings this community to the next level, is the interaction between truly passionate gear heads from across the world. At times, the verbal passages in the comments section are incredible – the amount of knowledge possessed and shared by you, the Speedhunters people, is tremendous.

And if the world is to evolve, what you guys demonstrate is exactly what needs to happen.

I strongly believe that when people from different backgrounds and with different stories get together, share their experiences and work towards a common goal, that is when you can take the best input from everyone and have the best shot at creating something new and unique.

That’s exactly how the RS-R NASCAR V8 86 drift car was built.

A mixture of American racing history, Japanese technology and even a bit of European influence, I can’t help but think that this car is the automotive equivalent to “the fusion kitchen.”

Figuratively, this car is put together with red blooded steak from the American heartland, fresh sushi from Japan’s Kansai region and Team RS-R even decided on stuffing some Norwegian salmon in there.

Is the RS-R V8 86 the best of all worlds?

It could very well be. It has one of the best transmissions money can buy, an Australian built Holinger. It has an overkill, thoroughly tested Winters Quickchange differential. It has an engine with plenty of naturally aspirated power that is built to withstand 500 laps of “holding stumt.” It has a Toyota 86 body, which has strong marketing push behind it. The list goes on…

RS-R has done an amazing job, especially in terms of getting the car ready in such a short time. On paper, the end product certainly looks to be pretty close to the ultimate Formula Drift Asia machine.

In reality, however, and I’m sure any racer will agree with me on this, building a winning machine from scratch takes time. You can have the most impressive spec list in the world, but all components need to work together. And the more complex the setup is, the more time you need to devote to dialing it in. This can only be done through seat time and practice.

That is why Team RS-R and Flatwell invited me to Suzuka Twin Circuit in Japan to shake down their new creation alongside RS-R driver Manabu Orido.

First and foremost – do you realize how big of a deal this is for a guy that 10 years ago grew up watching Orido and RS-R in Option videos from across the world?

I used to dream of what it was really like to be there. Boy, how incredible would it be to soak up the atmosphere and learn from the best.

And now I was the one that was asked for advice… To say that I feel honored and grateful for getting this opportunity from RS-R is a huge understatement!

So, over my two days at Suzuka Twin Circuit, I wanted to contribute as much as I possibly could. Orido-san and I had some good talks, and it was great to bounce what I’ve seen and learnt in this world of drifting off of all of his experience.

We have very different styles, which was something I learnt partly by watching footage, but also from driving the RS-R Supra for the 2012 Formula Drift Asia finals in Indonesia last year.

Where as Orido is very smooth, gentle and efficient, I am typically more raw and rough. This is mirrored in the setup of the car and I typically tend to like a more aggressive setup in terms of alignment. As we will be doing double duty in the car, it was important to find individual setups that worked for each one of us, but also learn from each other and try out new things.

During my first laps in the car, I was getting used to the sequential shifter gate, as well as everything else which indeed is fairly different from our own Speedhunters Toyota 86-X.

One thing that turned out to be a lot better than I initially expected, was how wide the power band actually is. Where a high strung turbo engine would normally require a clutch kick or a light gear to be able to spool into boost quickly, this engine pulled hard from about 3500 rpm. A NASCAR Cup engine typically doesn’t, but partly based on my US crew chief Stephan Papadakis’ recommendation, RS-R opted for a “short course” cam setup, which flattens the power curve a bit. The bottom end picks up considerably, while you lose about 100 to a 150 horsepower on the top end.

I ran too light of a gear for my first sessions, but once I realized where the power band actually was I started running heavier gears throughout the track.

And wow, it was so much fun!! Near the end of the day I started pushing more and the roaring sounds and whining transmission noises took me right back to the movie Days of Thunder. I grew up watching this Tony Scott NASCAR blockbuster ballad with my buddies and it feels amazing to finally have let a true circle track engine take a place in my life. Welcome, Mr. NASCAR.

Just listen for yourself in the above video!

After our initial test, we ended up with what was in fact a short list of proposed changes. A slightly revised front end for more steering angle and more normal Ackermann characteristics, along with a different shifter and a steering wheel was my main points.

We had two great days shaking down the car and bonding as a team at Suzuka. And moving forward, there is almost no time to spare…

The car’s competition debut will be at Calder Park Raceway in Melbourne, Australia, for the Formula Drift Asia season opener held on April 27th-28th.

And while Team RS-R is in Japan preparing the 86 to be loaded in the container for the trek to Australia, I am back in Norway practicing, preparing and getting ready for the crazy season ahead.

No matter how the rest of the season goes down, the memories from my first trip to Japan and the “land of drift” will stand out as a an unforgettable experience. And as I was about to depart Osaka, something happened that further enhanced my great first impression of the extremely generous Japanese people. Sugahara-san of RS-R handed me a gift that absolutely gave me the chills:

Orido’s personal steering wheel and the actual one that was used in his competition D1 car 7 years ago.

Now, THAT’s a gift and THAT’s how you reach the heart of a drifter. Team RS-R – thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to work with you – thank you. See you in Australia, and thanks for your time!

Crank & Piston have just released a full video shot during the shakedown test so you can hear more of those lovely V8 sounds…

RS-R Japan

RS-R USA

Flatwell

Fredric Aasbø Official Website

Manabu Orido Official Website

Formula D Asia

-Fredric

Photography by Dino Dalle Carbonare

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75 comments

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1

Awesome. The sound of sequentials bucking down the pit lane always cracks me up. Any story behind the cartoony foot drawn on the sheetmetal where the dead pedal typically sits?

2

Awesome. The sound of sequentials bucking down the pit lane always cracks me up. Any story behind the cartoony foot drawn on the sheetmetal where the dead pedal typically sits?

3

Awesome. The sound of sequentials bucking down the pit lane always cracks me up. Any story behind the cartoony foot drawn on the sheetmetal where the dead pedal typically sits?

4

so does this mean you will be making the long journey down under for the first round?would be cool to meet you

5

so does this mean you will be making the long journey down under for the first round?would be cool to meet you

6

so does this mean you will be making the long journey down under for the first round?would be cool to meet you

Author10

@777 Yes, that is correct! After watching the OZ scene from the distance for a while I can't wait to finally make it down and see what it's like in person and meet you guys!

Author11

@777 Yes, that is correct! After watching the OZ scene from the distance for a while I can't wait to finally make it down and see what it's like in person and meet you guys!

Author12

@777 Yes, that is correct! After watching the OZ scene from the distance for a while I can't wait to finally make it down and see what it's like in person and meet you guys!

Author13

@PrincetonWong I agree, it makes for that "because racecar" vibe. I saw that foot as well and my guess is that it just means something along the lines of "foot goes here". One thing I learnt while in Japan is that they have cartoon characters for everything - very cool!

Author14

@PrincetonWong I agree, it makes for that "because racecar" vibe. I saw that foot as well and my guess is that it just means something along the lines of "foot goes here". One thing I learnt while in Japan is that they have cartoon characters for everything - very cool!

Author15

@PrincetonWong I agree, it makes for that "because racecar" vibe. I saw that foot as well and my guess is that it just means something along the lines of "foot goes here". One thing I learnt while in Japan is that they have cartoon characters for everything - very cool!

16

absolutelly insane..

17

absolutelly insane..

18

absolutelly insane..

19

Hmm..why is there a spark plug in front of the air filter? Or am i seeing that wrong..

20

Hmm..why is there a spark plug in front of the air filter? Or am i seeing that wrong..

21

Hmm..why is there a spark plug in front of the air filter? Or am i seeing that wrong..

Author22

That is an ambient air temp sensor.

Author23

That is an ambient air temp sensor.

Author24

That is an ambient air temp sensor.

25
Gerben aka Suburuuh

Fredric..... Where did I see that guy previously? As I was reading along, the snow pictures made it instandly clear again! ;)
What an honour to be testing en driving this 'beastly' car and to be gifted that steering wheel, your comment is spot on!
Good luck @ the Formula Drift Asia.

26
Gerben aka Suburuuh

Fredric..... Where did I see that guy previously? As I was reading along, the snow pictures made it instandly clear again! ;)
What an honour to be testing en driving this 'beastly' car and to be gifted that steering wheel, your comment is spot on!
Good luck @ the Formula Drift Asia.

27
Gerben aka Suburuuh

Fredric..... Where did I see that guy previously? As I was reading along, the snow pictures made it instandly clear again! ;)
What an honour to be testing en driving this 'beastly' car and to be gifted that steering wheel, your comment is spot on!
Good luck @ the Formula Drift Asia.

28

@FredricAasbo  @777 Alot of self righteous JDM purists here in australia, wouldnt be suprised if people didnt talk to you because you are driving a v8. Dont let this bother you though as 90% of people are just chill and appreciate a good car/driver setup. No one really gets star struck though like they may in europe or america, so you will get more people approaching for a chat and just talk to you like a normal person.Shoudl be great to meet you if i get the chance.

29

@FredricAasbo  @777 Alot of self righteous JDM purists here in australia, wouldnt be suprised if people didnt talk to you because you are driving a v8. Dont let this bother you though as 90% of people are just chill and appreciate a good car/driver setup. No one really gets star struck though like they may in europe or america, so you will get more people approaching for a chat and just talk to you like a normal person.Shoudl be great to meet you if i get the chance.

30

@FredricAasbo  @777 Alot of self righteous JDM purists here in australia, wouldnt be suprised if people didnt talk to you because you are driving a v8. Dont let this bother you though as 90% of people are just chill and appreciate a good car/driver setup. No one really gets star struck though like they may in europe or america, so you will get more people approaching for a chat and just talk to you like a normal person.Shoudl be great to meet you if i get the chance.

31

Awesome blog Fredric! Must say it rings true what Orido said at the end of the vid about the car being built to excite the spectators!

32

Awesome blog Fredric! Must say it rings true what Orido said at the end of the vid about the car being built to excite the spectators!

33

Awesome blog Fredric! Must say it rings true what Orido said at the end of the vid about the car being built to excite the spectators!

34

That looks like the ultimate honor to be able to work with those guys. And that steering-wheel just made my jaw drop, i would most likely make an complete ass out of myself trying to say thank you a thousand times in japanese.

35

That looks like the ultimate honor to be able to work with those guys. And that steering-wheel just made my jaw drop, i would most likely make an complete ass out of myself trying to say thank you a thousand times in japanese.

Author37

@EthanGuzzi  @777 I am going there to learn, please come on by our pits for a chat :)

39

I am in love with that car! :D Come to the UK at some point please ^_^

40

"Let's try to convince the kids to buy a Toyota 86, but let's swap a NASCAR V8 in there for the wow factor, they won't notice it."
Excellent marketing plan, but your statement also says, "Toyota, you screw up the FA20 powerplan, and we don't like it"
Toyota won't mind your statement as long as you can sell the new 86.
I foresee not many kids rocking a NASCAR V8.
What's the next strategy?

41

This is amazing! I find myself takeing triple takes at some af these pictures. If only I could see this car in the flesh. So awsome.

42

I want to drive this thing so bad. It's everything good in one car. Out of curiosity, when you have a huge V8 with such a light rotating assembly I would think it could end up "twitchy." Did they use any trickery with the electronic throttle body to tame it down some?

43

@JDMized Tomorrow's news headline: "Toyota and RS-R issue apology for not consulting JDMized - CEO resigns in disgrace over ridiculous marketing stunt."

Author44

@milkplus That is a very on point question and I have also worked with very different flywheel weights over the last couple of years to try to find the "ideal" setup and I've typically liked lighter assemblies. The engine brake from the high compression cup engine was much less of an "issue" in the rain than I expected it to be, but I think a light rotating assembly helps this (compared to a heavier clutch/flywheel setup). We have no trickery such as slow throttle deceleration or anything like that in place right now, but Nate, who does the tuning, can tune the drive by wire any way we want. Hopefully we get to spend some time playing with these features. :)

45

How will you be splitting time with Orido in the same car? I am not sure how you did it last season. Surely you can't be in the same event at the same time, you could end up facing each other but only have one car to compete with...?

46

@milkplus I'll be waiting for the apology.

47

That must be quite a thrill ride trying to control that small '86 frame and that cracking V8!

48

I didn't know you guys were coming to Australia! I'll have to bring down my Supra from Sydney! Bring me heaps of stickers!!

49

That thing sounds good. All i have to say.

50

good on you fredric, chasing your dreams and making them come true. hope all goes well this season, kick some ozzy ass. and dont for get we are waiting for your trip to n.z ;)

51

dreams do come tru...that engine jus said "meh...i spit on ur tyre grip...ptooey!"
 
on another note whats the status of the RSR supra for this year? need a driver?...will drift for free :D

52

@FredricAasbo  @PrincetonWong why are the welds on the cage grinded down....thought that was illegal according to most tech rules, but more importantly isnt a sign of good welding?

54

@JDMized just stop...

55

Your hooked! Go you!
I've taken stock car driving schools and those V8's are no joke, I'm amazed someone stuffed one into a drift platform.

Author56

@rukus Sweet, please do! I'll bring stickers!

Author57

@calzyB I'm stepping in when Orido can't drive due to scheduling conflicts between his GT racing, D1, etc.

Author58

@kmakzi Thank you! And one of these days, man. One of these days.

59

Impressive...

60

@FredricAasbo  @EthanGuzzi will definitely stop by for a quick chat at some point during the weekend, just make sure you see a kangaroo and beware of the drop bears on your trip

61

Hey Fred is there any cons to having the V8 swap. Is there anything at all you dont like about it? Im just asking because it is rare to find the perfect set up in any motorsport. I personally cant find any flaw but im not the one driving it.

Author62

@JDMized If you look at Toyota as one of the world's absolutely largest car manufacturers, you'll see an incredibly diverse brand with deep tentacles into a bunch of different markets and communities. RS-R has just combined some of Toyota's products for a specific purpose - in my eyes there's no better way of being a good brand representative and explore new opportunities at the same time. And as far as I know, no one here (me included) thinks Toyota messed up with the FA20 for the production car. I have one, and it's straight up the best street car I ever had. It's easy to be a sales representative or brand ambassador for something you really like.

63
speedhunters_dino

@hanablemoore It sounds even better up close...I don't think I've ever felt my ribcage reverberate like that before lol

64
speedhunters_dino

@hanablemoore It sounds even better up close...I don't think I've ever felt my ribcage reverberate like that before lol

Author65

There's a lot of pros, such as linear power, decent amount of power, plus a short engine means limited overhang over the front axle, etc. I think one con, if you will, is that to push sufficient power from a smaller V8, like this one, you end up with a pretty exotic engine which is expensive to repair (compared to for instance a stock block 2JZ). The engine noise of the Cup engine outweighs all of the cons, though! :)

Author66

There's a lot of pros, such as linear power, decent amount of power, plus a short engine means limited overhang over the front axle, etc. I think one con, if you will, is that to push sufficient power from a smaller V8, like this one, you end up with a pretty exotic engine which is expensive to repair (compared to for instance a stock block 2JZ). The engine noise of the Cup engine outweighs all of the cons, though! :)

67

@FredricAasbo Yeah your right. 2jz are a dime a dozen and what you got your not gonna find at your local wrecking yard. Well not making that kind of power without cracking it open. It looks like its worth the trouble the way it slides and sound. Besides you dont have to replace the parts out of your pocket so your in the clear.LoL. You get to do the fun part which is keeping it sideways.

68

@FredricAasbo Still, the 2JZ has more "drift" in it than your NASCAR V8...After all, you can buy an F1 engine as well, no tubo's there and lots of power. Stil....you dont do it.
The sound? For me, it aint drift if turbo is not there. Period.

69

@greenroadster  @FredricAasbo You've given me an idea for a new product! 8 oz bottles of "Drift" additive. Meets SAE JDMtyteYo specifications... absolutely not for use in pushrod engines!

70

WIll ya be bringing that bad boy to Ireland this year Sir Fredric of Aasbo?

Author71

@Omnicoverage Unfortunately not, the RS-R car is built for this years Formula Drift Asia series. But who knows what might happen in the future?

Author72

@Omnicoverage Unfortunately not, the RS-R car is built for this years Formula Drift Asia series. But who knows what might happen in the future?

73

@FredricAasbo  @Omnicoverage  BOOOOOOOOOOOO! Tell ya what tho! Ive an 1996 M3 Drifter in my driveway, bring a vanos locking tool and ya can work away it it!...lol
 
Be well be safe and keep er lit hey! 8)
 
Mike
@Omnicoverage

74
MattStopTalking

“burntoutbrain: "boink your mother”

75

lol so smart to have the intake filter exposed in the rain, wonder how long that motor lasted...

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