Motorsports Celica GTS: Kyle's Time Attack Car!
The Toyota Celica is a car that, if you are like me, you have probably admired and enjoyed over the years. And then wondered why it vanished from the lineup. Over the decades that Toyota produced this model they have been both fire breathing dragons and then merely enjoyable sporty type cars. Kyle Beaty's Celica GTS was the latter. A sporty type car that began its life with him nine years ago, as his first car and basic get around vehicle. The chassis of Kyle's Celica now has 380,000 kilometres or 236,000 miles on it. He has owned this 1990 model since he was seventeen. His first car. The one he drove to high school. This Celica GTS is an incredible car that has not only been built to handle and perform incredibly well on the track, but it also looks stunning. A huge thanks to Chris De Freitas at Stage Four Motorsports for taking the time out of his busy schedule to work with Kyle on some pics. Photo Credit: Stage Four Motorsports.
When he bought the car it was already 17 years old. Kyle was 17. The car was listed for $1700 – actually it was $1800 but we seemed to be on such a roll of 17s – yet Kyle only had $1200 cash saved up for his future vehicle. Kyle's direction for his dad and brother, who were helping with the vehicle search, was simple. Not a truck. As his dad and brother were truck guys this was an important qualifier. That they found him a Toyota is no surprise because they were both fans of the marque. His dad, Glenn, found the 1990 Celica GTS within an hour of their hometown and, with some debating about the price and the needs of the car (brake replacement, dented fender, a few other worn items), they took it home to the Niagara Peninsula for $1200. Exactly the amount Kyle had saved. This was the first year of this body style, the fifth generation Celica, and it was a car he was very happy to have parked in his driveway. Needless to say, he was not aware of the car's full potential.
Racing was inevitable for Kyle, as his step-dad, Abel, was an oval track racer so Kyle was often at the track helping out on pit row, in the paddock, and breathing in the atmosphere. The challenge was how to make the best of his limited finances and yet still enjoy the track experience. Buying his own dedicated oval track racer was not a possibility, so Kyle took the Celica GTS out to open track days at Toronto Motorsport Park. Kyle is one of the lucky ones in that the track is right in his neighbourhood. Well, his extended neighbourhood. Glenn got him up to speed on what was needed to effectively wrench on a car. Abel got him grounded in what was required to enhance a car's handling plus how to race a car on the track. With this dual force supporting him, in 2009 Kyle hit the track in the most affordable way possible. In his Celica GTS with ancient tires but an otherwise mechanically solid car. At the track he met Chris De Freitas from Stage Four Motorsports. That was the beginning of a solid relationship and Kyle drives under the Stage Four banner.