JST Performance 2022 GR86 First Impression and Track Results
We were super hyped when the specs of the new GR86/BRZ were released and knew we had to have one as soon as they hit lots. Our previous 2020 BRZ Performance Package car was a blast to drive and proved to be a top contender in the SCCA Time Trial Sport 6 program (a pretty huge feat as the 2017+ cars cannot be SSC prepped like most of the other competition). If you are just being introduced to our shop, we spend most of our free time on track and have built a number of time trial/time attack cars. We are hoping to see what the GR86 can bring to the table as a full-on track car/time attack build!
Our first impression on the street is that the GR86 feels a lot like our 2020, but with more power, a quicker throttle response, and stiffer chassis. The ride seemed a little rough to begin with, but the turn in response was fantastic, and no matter which gear you are in, the car never really seems dead. We couldn't wait to see how this translated on track!
Our first track day with the 86 was at Roebling Road Raceway, our home track, and one that we have put in thousands of laps at over the past 10 years. We love to gather data from our various cars in different configurations at this track so that we have something to compare to. Our first few sessions with the 86 was in her completely stock configuration. We were able to squeeze a 1:25.9 out of the car (our 2020 was able to do a 1:27.9 stock). The stock tires are a huge limiting factor as they just made the car feel disconnected from the track and required a little bit of effort to keep the car pointed straight. The brakes need to be upgraded as they started to fade less than a few laps into the session and braking points had to be backed up more and more.
After a few sessions in the stock configuration, we swapped the 86 over to a set of 17x9 +45 Enkei RPF1's with 225/45 Yokohama AO52s to see what she could put down with just wheels and tires alone. She came in with an impressive 1:21.7 (the best time we got out of our 2020 was a 1:21.9 with quite a few more modifications: custom tune, wheels/tires, Koni shocks, Swift springs, exhaust, sway bars, and PP Brembos). We knew that there would be a huge difference in track times, but we were not expecting to pick up a whopping 4 seconds from a wheel and tire change alone! This wheel/tire combo dropped about 25 pounds from the car, but the stickier tires made a drastic difference in how the car handled on track. More grip made the handling more consistent and braking actually seemed to improve (though the car could still benefit from a brake upgrade). The car has a natural tendency to understeer on both setups (we had to work a little more than expected to get her to oversteer).
We have already had a number of partners offer to come on board to help turn this car into a time attack/time trial beast. Next up, we will be adding a set of Fortune Auto coilovers to adjust the balance of the car as well as an upgraded braking setup thanks to Counterspace Garage to help with the braking issues we were having before we campaign the car in her first SCCA Time Trail and Global Time attack events in March/May. We cannot wait to see how the car progresses! Stay tuned for weight and dyno comparisons in our next blog articles!