A Look Inside Tanner Foust’s Rockstar Scion Formula D Drift Machine

A Look Inside Tanner Foust’s Rockstar Scion Formula D Drift Machine

By Mike Kojima, photos by Jeff Naeyaert

The Rockstar/Scion TC built by Papadakis Racing and driven by Tanner Foust is one of the most feared machine/driver combinations on the Formula D circuit. Tanner is currently sitting in Second in the 2010 Formula D points chase in a good position for the championship.

A Look Inside Tanner Foust's Rockstar Scion Formula D Drift Machine
Controversy!  Or maybe we should say a lack of it.  We were expecting to see something really trick and pushing the limit of the rules back there but were sorta disappointed to find a painfully stock Scion TC rear end.  The rear uprights have some impressive fabrication to allow the use of Supra hubs and axles and the crossmember is minimally modded to accommodate the Supra diff but that was it.

The Scion made its debut in the 2009 season into a storm of controversy. First the Scion has been converted from the stock front wheel drive to a rear wheel drive configuration, second it had a V-8 engine. Third the rear suspension and crossmember was completely different from what came in the car.

A Look Inside Tanner Foust's Rockstar Scion Formula D Drift Machine
More controversy, the engine is set back quite a bit from the main edge of the stock factory firewall but that is a modified stock firewall, although heavily modified.  The actual engine location is pretty reasonable.  The front wheel centerline is about even with the second row of plugs.  This is about what a typical location for a V8 powered RWD cars is.  This is definitely not a front mid sort of layout.

When the car was in the planning stages, Papadakis Racing reviewed the build with Formula D’s officials to make sure that the car would not be deemed illegal. Considering that the car was going to get a big V8 and converted to RWD, the engine position was considered and the car was allowed to be built with the engine set back past the location of the stock firewall, it was permitted that the engine could be put rearwards of the stock firewall if the stock firewall was used. Papadakis racing was allowed to modify the stock firewall and like all racers they took full advantage of this semi formal agreement.

A Look Inside Tanner Foust's Rockstar Scion Formula D Drift Machine
Look at the centerline of the front axles in relationship with the engine.  Then go look at nearly any RWD front engine car.  The location is about in line with this.  Personally we dig the TRD Toyota NASCAR engine.

The Scion TC is a FWD chassis with a transverse I-4 engine and a cab forward design. The firewall is located much farther forward than your typical RWD car. When looking at the engine’s proposed location compared to other typical RWD cars that compete in FD a position several inches rearward of the stock firewall was allowed by FD officials on a special one off basis. To save costs, FD officials also reasonably allowed the use of a complete crossmember and suspension from a MKIV Supra with the logic of the car being a FWD car being converted to RWD; nothing was going to be stock in the rear anyway.

A Look Inside Tanner Foust's Rockstar Scion Formula D Drift Machine
The NASCAR Edelbrock intake manifold was modified for injection by welding in bosses.  A simple 90 degree elbow connects the manifold to a 80mm throttle body.  A dyno tuned AEM custom intake with a dryflow filter tops off the induction system.

 

A Look Inside Tanner Foust's Rockstar Scion Formula D Drift Machine
The throttle body is smaller than you might think at only 80mm.

 

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