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Papadakis Racing builds new Supra for 2020 Formula Drift; Adds Ryan Tuerck in Toyota Corolla

April 8, 2020

Aasbo LB 2019

The last time Stephan Papadakis built a new race car for Formula Drift racing, the Rockstar black-and-yellow Toyota Corolla hatchback won the first time out of the box with 2015 champion Fredric Aasbo at the wheel. It wasn’t as easy as it looked, though, as the new vehicle warranted a preventative engine change after Friday practice at Long Beach that race weekend in 2018.

Winning with a new race car is nothing new for Steph Papadakis, who secured his reputation as an innovator in sport compact drag racing back in the 1990s, building the first front-wheel-drive, tube-chassis drag car then in the U.S. Since that time, his teams have earned multiple records and championships, recording elapsed times and trap speeds previously thought unattainable with a FWD drag machine.

Papadakis moved his Los Angeles area-based team to Formula Drift in 2004, building winning cars like the incredible V-8 Scion tC and the Toyota Corolla hatchback referenced above, which he converged to rear-wheel-drive and installed a 1,000-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Papadakis and Aasbo have teamed over the past half-decade to bring success to both Scion and Toyota race cars in Formula Drift competition.

When Formula Drift eventually begins its season, which was to start this coming weekend at Long Beach, Papadakis Racing and Aasbo will have a brand new 1,000-horsepower  V-6 turbocharged   2020 Toyota GR Supra ready to take on the competition. They finished second to James Deane, champion for the second year in a row with the Corolla hatch and were looking for a way to overcome the lanky Briton’s consistency, style and speed.

With 13 career victories, Swede Aasbo has more Formula Drift wins than any other racer in the series. He began his Formula Drift career, earning rookie of the year honors in 2010 with a Mark IV Toyota Supra, coming full circle this season as he takes the helm of the Toyota GR Supra.

Supra and Corolla

Papadakis Racing took delivery of the showroom-ready 2020 Toyota GR Supra just a few weeks after the new model appeared in showrooms last summer; when the basic black chassis arrived at the team’s Southern California base, it had about 500 miles on the odometer. They began working on the chassis in January, planning to place the B58 engine in time for the season opener.

Formula Drift dictates showroom vehicles, rather than purpose-built race cars. They’re adapted to perform in the competitive environment, most featuring engines of more than 1,000 horsepower and are chassis-engineered to deliver 65 degrees or more of front steering angle. The GR Supra is rear-wheel-drive, so did not need to be altered in that regard; from the factory it has an inline six-cylinder 3.o-liter engine rated at 335 horsepower and 365 lb-ft of torque.

Steph Papadakis at work

The B58 is a 6-cylinder turbocharged, nitrous-fed engine using the factory crankshaft and block. Steph Papadakis modified the engine to accept valve train from Supertech Performance, had the cylinder modified by Portflow Design, used forged steel Carrillo connecting rods and JE Custom 11.0:1 compression pistons,  AEM Electronic’s Infinity 708 fuel injection and BorgWarner’s EFR 9280 turbocharger. Injectors are six 2000cc units from Injector Dynamics. A Gforce GSR 4-speed dog box transmission is fed through a four-disc Tiltyon 7-1/4-in clutch, while a carbon fiber Driveshaft Shop driveshaft completes the mechanicals.

Once again, Aasbo and Papadakis have wrapped the car in the bright black-and-yellow of Rockstar energy drink.

Ryan Tuerck LB 2019

For the pending 2020 season, Aasbo has a new teammate, Ryan Tuerck, a veteran in Formula Drift who drove a Toyota 86 last year. Tuerck takes over the Toyota Corolla Hatchback with support from Gumout and Nitto Tire; this is Papadakis Racing’s first season using Nitto rubber.. Tuerck brings 14 career podiums to Papadakis Racing and his multitude of social media followers. “It’s been really hard to keep this under wraps for so long,” Tuerck said of his new partnership with Papadakis Racing.

Tuerck 2020 Corolla

Tuerck had the opportunity to check out the Toyota Corolla Hatchback race car after using a detuned version in demonstration runs for Papadakis Racing last year. He retired his Toyota 86 earlier in the new year, prompting speculation among his followers. Of the Corolla Hatchback Tuerck said, “It’s a blast and I couldn’t be more excited about the competition potential of the platform.”

Aasbo is keen to begin a partnership with the the New Hampshire resident, “It’s going to be great having Ryan working with us this year. You never want to meet your teammate in tandem, but we’ve had some great battles over the years and it’s going to be a heck of a match-up when it happens.”

To understand the complexities of Papadakis Racing’s 2020 Toyota Supra GR Formula Drift build, wiring and dyne test, watch here:

Words By Anne Proffit

Action photos by Anne Proffit; static photos courtesy Papadakis Racing

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One Comment
  1. Love your copy and possibly the photos more…THANX! dRU

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