Wild new Kiwi-built Toyota GT86 D1NZ drift car revealed
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The first of two newly built Jenkins Team Motorsport Toyota GT86 drift cars has been revealed. Troy Jenkins set to debut the sideways beast at round four of the 2018 Link ECU D1NZ National Drifting Championship, while his brother Ben Jenkins' identical drift car is under construction.
“We got the car from Toyotaz Galore and back to our workshop in July last year. That was a full working car, and we pretty much stripped it all away from there," said Troy.
"It's spent a fair while at DKM Fabrication, but after that we're talking about six or seven months total. [We've been working on it] probably every night for the last six or seven months. Every night, every weekend, every bit of spare time.”
It's the end of an era for Troy [pictured right] and Ben [left]. The duo has long campaigned in Kiwi drifting behind the wheel of a pair of Nissan Silvias — Troy winning the ProSport feeder-series title with his, while Ben's SR-powered S13 has performed several giant-killing feats since he debuted in the main series earlier this year.
“It's going to be really hard for me to get rid of mine,” said Ben. “I built the engine, gearboxes, diffs, learned in it, crashed it, bent it, won rounds in it. It's a bit of a soft spot between me and Troy, we get angry at each other because I need to sell it. I love that thing.”
The new GT86 — powered by a Toyota 2JZ inline six-cylinder engine and supported by a Wisefab front end, sequential gearbox, and myriad custom-built parts — is a synthesis of the brothers' different design ethos.
“We didn't want to do it in halves and come up with something that was butchered together. The results show how much more time we've put into it, and I think that's going to pay off in the long term,” said Troy.
“We came down to Hampton Downs for a private test day and it felt really really good straight out of the trailer. We had a couple of little issues that we sorted out with the steering and bits and bobs.
“Power delivery was a lot different compared to the Silvia, but it felt quite similar — a lot more comfortable. Maybe ‘new' would be the word, because everything is brand new, tight, and it drove really nice.”
“[It tested] our relationship as brothers,” added Ben. “Spanners thrown and that sort of thing, disagreements because we have different styles. But we got there in the end, and this is a child of our ideas bought together to make something f***ing awesome.
“Our cars were already at a competitive level, but to go to this is two steps up. I think you'll see a different team come the new season.”
The arrival of another new build helps bolster the D1NZ grid, coming alongside a range of wild local and international builds that have joined the series in the last two seasons. These include 'Fanga Dan' Woolhouse's new Ford Mustang Spec 5 RTR, Jaron Olivecrona's V12-powered Nissan Silvia S14, and former champion Darren Kelly's Nissan R35 GT-R — which won for the first time at Timaru's round three.
"You have to keep it interesting now," said Troy.
"Everyone's lifting the bar the whole time, so we wanted to do something like that. The Nissan Silvia was something that wasn't continued by Nissan, and with Darren Kelly getting the Nissan sponsorship I thought 'if we want to get factory backing, we need to do something out of the box.'
"The Toyota GT86 deal just came around at the right time, and Ben and I were fortunate enough to get that."
Attention following the car's debut will turn to finishing off the second GT86. It's hoped that it will make an appearance at the final round of the season, but the new car won't compete — the team instead expecting it car to make a competitive debut next season.
There are two rounds remaining in the series; the next taking place at Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon next weekend. The series then returns to Auckland for its biggest round of the year; the grand finale at Pukekohe Park in May.