One of the most popular Japanese stars from WTAC 2017 Fire Ando is returning in his radically reworked Evo 9 sporting a bunch of serious upgrades including full support from famous Japanese tuning house ESCORT with the car now sporting their infamous livery.
The Version 1 of this build ran a 51.8 second lap at Tsukuba Circuit earlier this year and also finished in 5th position in Pro Class at WTAC 2017 with a 1.27.3. Despite this competitive first attempt, the team have radically reworked the car for V2 planning on shaving many seconds off their 2017 time and pushing hard for a Pro Class podium. The first thing on the list was to dramatically revise the aero and to do this Ando and the Escort team enlisted some of their acquaintances from the land of Super GT to assist with a brand new design that was all built in house at Escort.
This V2 design includes a radical new front ‘cannard wing’, and a ‘sharks fin’ attached teamed up with a unique rear aero design which features large side plates attached to a new ‘swan neck’ rear wing all designed to provide absolute maximum downforce around Sydney Motorsport Park.
The engine has also been radically redone to include a billet aluminium bullet block and much larger GCG GTX3584RS turbocharger pushing the power output to over 1000ps on Martini Racing E85. This is considerably more than last year and also include a healthy dose of Nitrous Oxide controlled by a Motec ECU to eliminate lag. The diffs have also been upgraded to trick ATS carbon fibre jobs.
Along with the diffs the brakes also received the full carbon fibre treatment with a full set of RPS Carbon/Carbon paired with billet Endless calipers. This has dramatically reduced unsprung weight and increased braking ability. Finishing up the drivetrain is a 6-speed Holinger Sequential.
After an impressive debut effort, Fire Ando and the team at Escort have rebuilt this Evo with a single purpose – to win Pro Class. It’s a serious no nonsense build designed to take on the best in the world and just like his peer Under Suzuki, Ando has no intention of running Pro Am despite being eligible. “We built this to take on the fastest in the world and that is the challenge!” laughed Ando “We will be pushing hard for the win this year and have made the changes we hope will bring it to fruition.”