The Papadakis Racing 2020 Toyota GR Supra drift machine takes shape
LOS ANGELES, California (March 18, 2020) - Papadakis Racing is in the process of transforming their 2020 Toyota GR Supra into a 1,000 horsepower drift machine. In the latest episode of their racecar build series, the vehicle starts to take shape.
"We have several parallel projects all going on at the same time and it isn't until the car is nearly completed that it really starts looking like a car again," said race team owner and car builder Stephan Papadakis. "We're in that phase now where it's going to evolve from a shell to a running vehicle in a really short period of time."
And that's the stage Papadakis Racing and his team share in Episode 3 of the second season of the 1,000 horsepower GR Supra build, released on Wednesday. Over the course of four episodes in 2020, the team lifts the veil on the often secretive world of high-performance vehicle builds to show what it takes to transform the 2020 Toyota GR Supra into a competition-ready drift machine.
In this episode, Papadakis and his crew show how the chassis and critical components are prepared by powder coating and anodizing and install key systems including the cooling system, braking, suspension and interior details.
When they took delivery of the car, it had just over 500 miles on it. Previously, the team showcased the process as they dismantled the brand new production car, removing body panels, sound insulation, wiring harnesses and even the paint -- accomplished in a chemical bath that took the vehicle down to bare metal. They also revealed the rapid prototyping design and component manufacturing process that allowed them to create a fully customized safety roll cage.
These are parts of the build process rarely seen outside the four walls of a high-tech race shop, but Papadakis is committed to transparency. As a kid growing up with a passion for cars and technology, he says it was the action in the garage that most appealed to him. Where the on-track competition is widely shown to fans in the grandstands and on television, he developed his YouTube build series to share the compelling story that happens behind-the-scenes - and usually behind closed doors.
"The drivers are out there doing superhuman things with these cars, but it's what happens before the teams even get to the track that really interests me," he said. "It's rare that you get to see a team of mechanics tear into a brand new production car and take it through the process of experimentation and invention that prepares it for racing."
The story has rapidly found an audience, with eight-million plus views on the series. The build video released today is a continuation of the wildly popular episodic YouTube show on the Youtube.com/PapadakisRacing channel that began in 2019 with four episodes showcasing an engine build. Papadakis and his team tripled the stock power output of the Toyota B58 engine to produce 1,033 horsepower on an engine dyno.
Slated to drive the car in Formula Drift this season is 2015 series champion Fredric Aasbo. It is expected he will make an appearance in a future episode of the build series, when the vehicle is tested for the first time.
The action-oriented Formula Drift series features a diverse field of vehicles capable of fast sprints off the start line as well as wild, door-to-door slides. The Papadakis Racing team are three-time series champions with a long legacy in the sport, as well as roots in the Southern California drag racing scene. Papadakis is known for innovative builds that defy expectations and set trends in the automotive aftermarket. His builds have been featured in the Petersen Automotive Museum.
Under series rules, competing vehicles start their lives in the showroom, rather than being built from scratch, and are adapted to perform in the competition environment. Top performing cars are typically equipped with 1,000-plus horsepower engines, feature extensive competition safety roll cages, and are engineered to deliver an astonishing 65-degrees or more front steering angle.
The 2020 Toyota GR Supra is an enviable platform to begin with. The Supra nameplate is a legendary performer with a long history in the sport compact scene. The GR Supra is rear-wheel drive and lightweight, and it comes equipped from the factory with a turbocharged inline six cylinder 3.0-liter engine rated at 335 horsepower and 365 lb.-ft of torque.
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Papadakis is a legend of sport-compact racing. His winning vehicles defy expectations and lead industry trends. He established his reputation as an innovator in the 1990s with the first front-wheel-drive, tube-chassis drag car in the U.S. His team earned multiple records and championships, turning in elapsed times and trap speeds previously thought unattainable in front-drive drag cars.
Since moving to Formula Drift in 2004, Papadakis' winning vehicles include the landmark V8-powered Scion tC, and the current 1,000-horsepower, 4-cylinder rear-wheel-drive converted Toyota Corolla Hatchback -- which won its first outing in 2018 and is fighting at the front of the Formula Drift Championship this season.
On YouTube, Papadakis has found a strong audience for his regular content uploads focusing on the technical side of racing and vehicle performance. Channel content has generated millions of views over the past few months and has topped 430,000 subscribers.
Season two of the build series is produced by Red Team LA in collaboration with Papadakis Racing.