Hey there drift fans!!
Most of you reading this page likely already know, drift season here in Canada is over! After an exciting debut season for the Cyrious Garageworks / Scion Racing 2013 Scion FR-S it’s now time to reflect on the past season’s successes and failures, and draw some hard-earned knowledge from those experiences!
As we continued to press forward through the season, the FR-S continued to show improvements at each outing. Round 5 would see the FR-S in working order, so this would be it’s real debut at this track, as opposed to the test run at St Croix a couple rounds before. This round actually combined both the Pro and Pro Am classes to run a Top 32 format event!
We were slated to pair up against Alex Blanchette in the Top 32 round, but he was suffering from mechanical difficulties, and therefore decided to honorably forfeit rather than continue and potentially suffer a malfunction mid-race and wreck the car.
Our next opponent in the Top 16 was Eric Paradis. Though it was a close, and actually controversial decision, Paradis had done enough in the judges’ eyes to be awarded the win.
Round 6 saw us returned to Autodrome Montmagny for the second time this year. This time, however, the judges arranged a different layout, as well as implementing the Top 32 as they had at the last round. This would be the FR-S’ debut at Montmagny so we had hopes for a good showing!
In Top 32 we were matched up against Maxime Poirier. Max definitely has the potential to be a contender, and with more seat time I think he could really do some damage in the series! He was unable to close in on the FR-S in tandem runs, and so we were given the nod into Top 16!
We would face Eric Belanger in the Top 16, as the sun began to drop. This run unfortunately brought up one of the reasons that most professional drifting series tend to keep the Pro Am and Pro classes seperate. I have to give credit to Eric, he gave it his all and made the best runs he could, but was extremely slow and nearly impossible to follow with the FR-S which had been dialed in for speed. As Eric’s speeds were consistent with his qualifying runs, it was deemed acceptable and he was given the nod into the Great 8.
Upon returning home from Round 6, the FR-S underwent it’s typical post-event inspection and was found to have a lot of wear on the clutch from attempting to follow Eric Belanger. With the DMCC rounds being so tightly packed together, we were tasked with trying to find an FR-S performance clutch in the span of a week. Needless to say, this wound up being completely impossible, so we were left with only one choice and that was to bring back the old AE86 warhorse for one final hurrah.
Round 7 returned us to Riverside Speedway in St. Croix for the third time this season. This time, the track layout was flipped around to be run backwards. This event would also see a return to the Top 16 competition structure, once again splitting the pros from the pro am drivers.
Unfortunately the weather decided not to hold up for us, and after a great day of practice and qualifying we were hit with nasty rain for the competition day. Even worse, however, was when the rain stopped just before competition and the track began to dry. This lead to an inconsistent surface on the track, which is unfortunately like kryptonite to the AE86. We lined up against Alex Gosselin, and I gave it my best effort but made a mistake on my lead run. I knew that at this point my only choice was to go as hard as possible in the follow run and try to force Alex to make a mistake. He did what he needed to do however, and wound up getting the nod into the Top 8.
Round 8 brought us to the Sanair race track for the first and only time in 2013. Throughout the season we’d been wrestling with the FR-S’ electric power steering not being responsive enough, and had tried several different strategies and techniques to attempt to counteract these issues. Our latest, and (it seemed) most effective strategy was an increase in front tire pressure in an attempt to make the steering lighter and more capable. In doing so, however, this also greatly reduced the front grip of the car, and a lot of care was needed to not send the car into understeer. A few laps into practice, the problem we had wrestled with all year came back to haunt us. Unfortunately, due to the timing and the extent of the damage, we were unable to get the car back up and running for competition, ending our weekend very early.
Though it wasn’t the greatest note to end on, this last round made it clearly apparent that a lot of things were going to need to be changed in order to develop the FR-S into the ultimate drifting machine that we know it can be. Even with the technical difficulties and troubles we experienced throughout the season, our team wound up managing to get 7th place overall in the championship, and it was a hard fought 7th place!
We’re back at the drawing board, and have many improvements to make to the FR-S over the course of the offseason. Our plan is to return with a much more refined machine, and one that is purpose-built for drifting. We hope you continue to join us on this adventure, and keep your eyes peeled for more updates in the offseason!