It was Ditch Day at work Thursday, so we picked up some nugs, pimped a 40, and headed to our buddy “RAD” Dan Burkett’s house because his folks were gone and we were ‘bout to get tore the f**k up. Well, actually, most of that didn’t happen, but we did get an invite from the mullet king himself to join him and RAD Industries accomplice Jeff Le as they prepped and shook down Burkett’s Mark IV Toyota Supra at Walt James Stadium on the grounds of Willow Springs International Motorsports Park before the team packs up for Round 1 of the Formula DRIFT Pro2 season.
You’ll recall we featured Burkett’s race car last year. We were also exceedingly fortunate to be around for most of the car’s build, outlined in a five-part series on our site in 2015:
The Supra has been updated and upgraded since last season, with a slew of parts that should make Burkett an even larger force to be reckoned with. Deep in the guts of the 2JZ-GTE under hood, the lightest 3.4-liter stroker kit crankshaft Brian Crower makes now spins, some 12 pounds lighter than the crank in there previously. Pistons good for 9.5:1 compression replace the 8:1 compression slugs used in 2015, and Burkett is running a BorgWarner EFR 9174 turbo this year.
All of these changes help the engine respond more quickly and also help produce more low-end, mid-range, and high-end power. More sensors have been added to the 2JZ so Burkett can monitor better what’s happening through the ECU. And engine management has been programmed with a different rev limiter as well as a mild anti-lag.
Dan partnered up with DOC Race for their turbo manifold and is also working with Turbosmart, employing their wastegates, fuel pressure regulator, and some other goodies. PTP Turbo Blankets are also in the engine compartment this year, providing a variety of heat shielding solutions.
The Supra’s V-mount intercooler setup was scrapped and now the boost heat exchanger – a new unit from Treadstone equipped with one of its 1245 cores – is mounted in front of a new, larger surface area oil cooler with fan. Dan also incorporated a power steering fluid cooler to go along with the KRC Power Steering pump, Woodward steering column, and Greddy custom billet steering pump brackets (the billet alternator bracket is also from Greddy). Some of the other billet engine pieces came from new partner OCD Works, and Torco is also new to Team RAD, kicking in with their oil.
At each corner are new Stance coilovers, in addition to ESR SR07 rims shod in Nexen rubber, both also new to the program. Dan worked again with designer Chance Jespersen to develop the Supra’s widebody kit – called the Weapon widebody by RAD Industries – which boasts 70mm wider front and rear over-fenders. APA blue and blue chrome vinyl adorn the Toyota’s exterior (expertly installed by Dan’s wife, Renee), and making sure Team RAD look as sharp as the race car this year are jeans maker Blkwd Denim & Co. and skate shoe brand Supra Footwear (who else did you expect?)
For as grateful as Dan is to his new sponsors, he is equally if not more thankful to those who came aboard last year when things were just getting off the ground – outfits like Advanced Clutch Technology (ACT), APR Performance, Wilwood Engineering, HPS Performance Products, and many, many others. He cites DriftMotion in particular for going above and beyond in 2015 to keep development of the Supra moving forward.
We couldn’t be more stoked to see RAD Dan prepare to attack the year ahead, and had a hoot hanging out with Burkett and Le at Willow Springs as they sorted out the car one last time. Team RAD will kick off the season May 5 and 6 at Road Atlanta, the location of Round 1 of the 2016 Formula D Pro2 Championship.