An Early Look at Dai Yoshihara’s 2011 Formula D Ride
By Mike Kojima
Team Falken’s Dai Yoshihara will once again be driving his Chevy LS powered Nissan S13 in the 2011 Formula D season. The car has been undergoing a complete rebuild at SPD Metalworks, a rebuild so intensive that it is basically going to be an all new car. A lot of the rebuild was needed to bring the car up to 2011 Formula D specs.
|A lot of cool hardware lurks at SPD Metalworks!|
|Starting at the front of the chassis, the core support was removed and this tubular structure fabricated to mount the bodywork and heat exchangers to. This structure is easier to repair than the stock unibody in an accident. It is also stiffer in torsion. It is designed to bend in an accident and absorb impact sparing the main structure and suspension pick up points from damage. A push bar bolts to the forward frame rails.|
In an effort to align Formula D competition cars with their roots as highly modified street cars and to hold down the costs on new builds for privateers, the new rules do not allow for the removal of as much of the car’s unibody chassis as they did previously. The structural parts of the unibody must remain intact from the farthest suspension pick up points backwards in the front and forwards in the rear.
|Details of the front of the frame rails, the rails are boxed in and provide mounting for the front push bar. The forward cage extension terminates here. The box section up front is much stronger than the stock core support.|
|These tubes are an extension of the cage. Formula D rules do not allow the cage tubes to go through the firewall so they bolt through the firewall. This aids repairability though. The bars stiffen the chassis and aid handling. They also add strength. Areas of the unibody were bent inward for more tire clearance at full lock, important because drift cars are modified for increased steering angle.|