It’s confirmed – Keiichi Tsuchiya will be back at Yokohama World Time Attack Challenge in 2019!
Japanese motorsport legend, Keiichi ‘Drift King’ Tsuchiya, will return to WTAC Open Class in a Beau Yates Motorsport-prepared Toyota AE86 Corolla Levin.
Last year, Tsuchiya-san bested a lap time of 1:35.7, placing him about middle of the field in WTAC Open Class. This was a massive achievement for both driver and car, given the build time was only about eight weeks long.
“Overall I think he [Keiichi Tsuchiya] really loved the car. Everything he said was really positive. he said the balance of the car was really good and that everything still felt like an AE86. He wants to change a few things which we have taken note of and we have some big plans for the car in 2019,” says Beau of Keiichi’s impressions of the car.
“He’s only done a handful of laps here at Sydney Motorsport Park, so with time comes speed. We’ve got a lot of good logging in this car so we’re able to track map and show sections we were down or up.”
“It’s just a matter of putting down some more laps and [we’ll] try and put a bigger tyre on it. It’s only running a 225 [tyre width], so to do a low 1:35 on a 225 with 300kW, it’s a fast little car,” says Beau.
This year, Beau plans to put some more development into the car with focus on updating the basic aerodynamics and working on a new front splitter and rear wing. There are also plans to clean up the airflow underneath the car. Beau also mentions whispers of more power – or possibly a motor swap – to be even more competitive in Open Class.
“Around Top 10 last year was great, considering it was the first time at the track and we rolled it out a day prior to the event,” says Beau, “For 2019, with some more aero and bigger tyre we’d like to push up around the Top 5.”
It’s a crazy job for any team to prepare any Top 5 car in WTAC. The work it will take for Beau to prepare the world’s best AE86 for the world’s most famous AE86 driver, and to finish Top 5 in Open Class? Pure insanity!
Check out the video below to find out more about the car, and Beau’s thoughts on building the ultimate AE86 for his hero.