There are not many guys still competing at National drift events that can be considered “one of the originals” but that is certainly the case with Beau “The Show” Yates. Not many have such a strong brand alliance as Yates having driven a Toyota 86, either old or new, for much of his career. This has led to him being the only manufacturer supported driver in Australia thanks to a deal with Toyota Australia that sees him in quite possibly the most radically modified Toyota 86 in the country.
With a history dating back to 2004 Yates has long been regarded as one of the countries top competitors having won the 2006 Drift Australia Championship and multiple round wins in years that followed in his early AE86. In 2008 he secured a deal with Toyota through their TRD division that lead to a full rebuild with a dry sump “Beams” engine. This car was widely regarded as “the best AE86 on the planet” thanks to a stunning build by Hypertune.
Unfortunately, the GFC hit in 2008 which saw the sale of Drift Australia that would relegate the series tho the annals of history. Then TRD pulled out of Australia leaving him with a car he had invested a huge amount of time and money into, with no national series to compete in and no sponsor.
For the next few years he chose to sit on the sidelines with the one exception being his once-a-year appearance at WTAC in the Tectaloy Drift Challenge which he won in 2010. Fast forward a few years and with the Toyota 86 setting sales records across the country the relationship with Toyota was rekindled and Yates had taken delivery of a new FT86 and with the help of Hypertune, set about building the insane weapon we know today.
“We are really starting to get a handle on it now” said Yates “like anything, when you re-engineer something so radically, it takes time to iron everything out and get it sorted. This car is really amazing now though, it just has so much grip much of which comes from the original vehicle design.”
“We also thought it important to use the original engine so it retains the true architecture of the car. We did radically modify it though so it makes over 350KW and put a Sadev 6 speed sequential gearbox behind it.”
“Formula Drift is pretty well seen as the pinnacle of drifting world wide so it is extremely important I do well” said Yates “long term I would love to compete in the entire Formula Drift series and with the World Championship starting next year that is something we certainly have our eyes on.”
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