LIMELIGHT | Adrian Walsh’s Hankook AE86

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I’ve know that Adrian Walsh was going to be a Hankook driver for 2013 in IDC for a long time and I’ve known it was going to be in Hankook colours with nearly as long. This Saturday, the 30th, at an AE86 track day (Chris and I will have more on that shortly) was going to be the first time the general public was going to see the completed car. I had an idea as to what it would look like after talking to Adrian about it over the last few months, but what was parked in front of me in Mondello made the vision in my head seem pale in comparison.

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Adrian was competing in Prodrift several years ago, so long ago in fact that most people couldn’t get over this “newcomer” that was giving the Pro’s a run for their money. Those that have been around longer know him with a long time and we’ve always known what kind of driver he was.

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You might remember this car from last year. It was a bright yellow, looked impressive and was driven magnificently. Since then its gone through a pretty impressive over haul. Clearly the biggest difference is the paint work. And I’m sure we can all tell that Hankook are now Adrian’s main sponsor.

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Another major difference is the 17″ Rota RBX which have been refinished in Hankook orange. Anyone will tell you an AE86 shouldn’t have wheels that big. I’ll tell you, you’re wrong, 17’s are the prefect size for this car.

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A feature which may (or may not) strike you about the car is the lack of brand names on the car. I asked Adrian about this and he said its very simple, every name on the car is in the car. Its either fitted parts or sponsors. Again going back to the car last year when it was yellow, it was pretty much just a blank canvas.

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I’m sure by now you’re saying “its cool but it can’t drive that low”. You’d be wrong, it does drive at that height and it does drift at that height. I’m sure for some of the bumpy tracks like Ennis it might be raised up a little to protect the body work. As it sits in the photos it is fully functional and believe it or not, an AE86 with 17×9.5 Rotas, it doesn’t rub!

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The bodywork is a combination of Mercury R parts and some custom work. The front wings for example are cut and extended to give extra clearance to allow for the 9.5″ wide wheels but unlike most other cars they’ve been set up in such a way that the look like they’d be more at home on a GT car than a drift car.

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If you have a peak through the front wheels you can see the Wilwood 4 pot brake setup. It is a tried and tested route at this point and its the perfect setup for the front.

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The rears haven’t been left standard either. They have been upgraded to Skyline items. Twin pots with a hydraulic handbrake.

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Back to the bodywork again, but this time to the rear. The car is running a diffuser and an Origin wing. When Adrian is on a flat run in fourth with this aero package the smoke is going to blind anyone that tried to follow him.

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The cage has been painted in Hankook orange and the addition the Driftworks harness (also in orange), Sparco seats and flocked dash make this one of the best looking offices I’ve ever been in.

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At this point I’d like to draw your attention to Moose Design. Seamus did all the graphic work on this and I have to say, the quality speaks for itself. We have seen his handy work before on Adrian’s Hankook team mate Mike Fitz’s FC RX7

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The stance of it is unlike any other AE86 I’ve seen. It just seems to have the “come on and drive me!” look.

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It really is a car built to take on the best in the world in form and function.

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Its hard to believe that only a few days ago the country was being covered in snow. It never really got hot but it was sunny and it stayed that way long enough for me to get sun/wind burn!

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I’m going to leave you with the above image of Adrian driving the car. I always knew his driving skills were impressive but I didn’t realise he had perfected the look backwards and go style so well.
 
Words & Photos: Martin Cunningham
 

Spec

  • Make
    • Toyota
  • Model
    • Corolla Levin
  • Engine
    • SR20
    • Wiesco Pistons
    • Cosworth Headgasket
    • ACL Race Bearings
    • Greddy T518Z Turbo
    • Tomei Manifold, Elbow And Down Pipe
    • Nismo 550cc Injector
    • Z32 AFM
    • FSE Fuel Pressure Regulator
    • Trust Intercooler
    • Sard 280lpm Fuel Pump
    • Nistune ECU
    • HKS EVC4 Boost Controller
    • Blitz Exhaust System
  • Transmission
    • OS Giken Super Single Clutch
    • R34 RB25 Gearbox
    • Custom Propshaft
    • Nissan Vanette Axle 4:3 Ratio Diff
  • Suspension
    • Front: KW 2 Way Coilovers
    • Cusco Lower Control Arms
    • Cusco Tension Rods And Brackets
    • ARC Adjustable Anti Roll Bar
    • Nissan S Body Power Sterering System
    • Custom Extra Lock
    • Rear: TRD Coilovers
    • Custom Equal Length 4 Link Using T3 Adjustable Links, T3 Adjustable Panhard Rod
    • ARC Adjustable Anti Roll Bar
  • Brakes
    • Front: Wilwood 4 Pot Callipers, Discs, Race Pads And Braided Lnes
    • Rear: Skyline Twin Pots With Grooved Discs And Braided Lines
  • Exterior
    • Mercury R Front Bumper
    • Mercury R Side Skirts
    • Rear Diffuser
    • Custom Front Wings
    • FRP Bonnet
    • Nismo Style Bonnet Vent
    • Polycarbonate Windows
    • Origin Rear Wing
    • HID Headlights
  • Interior
    • Full Weld In Cage
    • 2x Sparco Seats
    • Driftworks Harnesses
    • OMP Wheel
    • Flocked Dash
    • GreDdy, Omori And Blitz Gauges
    • Dry Cell Battery
    • Hydraulic Hand Brake
  • Wheels
    • 17×9.5 Rota RBX
  • Comments