Article Index
Drift Gear: Eric O’Sullivan's 1988 Toyota Corolla GT-S
Page 2
All Pages

You wouldn’t be doing yourself a favor by underestimating any Irishman. Even the smallest of them can prove quite dangerous, as many vow to never go down without a fight and they just don’t quit. There’s a reason, the To get the car sideways and keep it there, O’Sullivan spent countless hours on the chassis set-up. A set of adjustable KYB AGX dampers were modified with Ground Control coilover conversions. Ueo Style front tension rods and lower control arms were added for more suspension tweaks. mighty English army conquered one quarter of the world, yet couldn’t hold down all of Ireland. But without getting into a political debacle, let’s stick to drifting, where battle is done sideways around the world. At the last Red Bull World Drifting Championships the World’s best were rounded up and included a couple of Irishmen. One was 16 year-old driving sensation James Dean and the other was our boy Eric O’Sullivan who campaigns the Rockstar Hachi with stellar results.

O’Sullivan is the 2007 Pro Drift Ireland Champion and has recently been given a full ride to run in Formula D. O’Sullivan will be piloting an STi for Rockstar and Hankook this year, so his Championship Hachi will be put on ice. Even though it won’t be actively competing, we had to move quick to catch this exclusive feature on his Hatchi which was bound back to the Emerald Isle right after the Red Bull event. What has really set the drifting world off about this car is its powerplant. Rather than slipping in the stout 4AG, O’Sullivan went with Honda power. With much r1846_optcontroversy, an F20C inline-4 from a Honda S2000 was slipped into the engine bay. Without engineering something custom, the team stuck with the Honda 6-speed box, but required a custom driveshaft to make it sing. The clutch was replaced with an Exedy Hyper single carbon unit and the diff was replaced with a Toyota 7.25-inch welded LSD. An ITG induction system was added in addition to a custom header feeding a 2.5-inch stainless exhaust. The fuel was ramped up with SS lines fed by a Bosch pump draining a 20L fuel cell in the trunk.

To get the car sideways and keep it there, O’Sullivan spent countless hours on the chassis set-up. A set of adjustable KYB AGX dampers were modified with Ground Control coilover conversions. Ueo Style front tension rods and lower control arms were added for more suspension tweaks. T3 was contacted for a set of front camber plates, custom tie rods, 4-links and pan hard rods. Whiteline traction brackets were added in addition to a Battle Version steering lock kit to round out the suspension. The brakes were fairly simple, stock calipers fitted with Ferodo pads, SS lines and EBC slotted rotors. The attention turned to the chassis to make it as stiff as possible. The entire car was seam-welded and a 10-point cage was fabricated for both safety and rigidity. The rolling gear had to be on-point to keep the car competitive. O’Sullivan sourced some Image wheels from the UK measuring 16x7.5-inch front with 16x9-inch in the rear featuring aggressive -40mm offsets. Sponsor Hankook stepped up with skid after skid of K105 Ventus Prime tires in 195/45R16s and 225/45R16s to hit the track.

GO9G2638_opt GO9G2654_opt GO9G2659_opt

The cockpit is all about functionality. A modified dashboard features a custom carbon fiber switch panel and gauge cluster. A Sparco wheel was added in addition to Momo seats and matching 4-point harnesses. GO9G2666_optHowever, the exterior received much more love from O’Sullivan. A full BN Sports aerokit was added including front fascia, rear bumper and flared sideskirts. The hood and mirrors have been replaced with carbon fiber units from Carbon Culture. Danco IRL supplied the fibreglass rear hatch and doors to trim some weight as did the Lexan window replacements. A Mercury rear diffuser was added as well as a Jubride rear spoiler to manage the airflow in all directions.

With O’Sullivan achieving top honours on his home turf in this AE86, he is pleased with how far the trusty Toyota took him. With a new Subaru ride and some major backing, his skills will be focused in a more corporate direction. Coming from the tiny market of Ireland, stepping up to the Formula D series is truly making it in the big leagues.



More Vehicle Features

Dennis Wang's 2006 BMW 330i

The debate between NA and forced induction is something that will never die. It’s fair to say if you want power you go forced, if you want response you go NA. If you want big power with response you get…
Read More

Ken Gushi's Formula Drift 2009 Scion tC

When Ken Gushi stormed onto the scene 5 years ago he was only 17. The young Japanese American was drifting before he had a license. Gushi was the subject of every conversation season after season because everyone had high expectations…
Read More

The Block Effect: 2012 Ford Fiesta ST RX43

How Ken Block changed everything There’s a moment in Gymkhana FIVE where Ken Block is airborne in a Ford Fiesta over a flat-out right-hander on a San Francisco street (5:34). When his wheels make contact with the ground, the car…
Read More

Oscar Trevizo's HorsepowerFreaks 2003 BMW M3

Written by Dave Pankew | Photos By Jacob Leveton The key to any successful project is to pace yourself, be consistent and reliable without overdoing it. You have to constantly push boundaries but not to the point of burning out…
Read More

Prime Time: Tyson Beckford's 2005 Nissan 350Z

Written by Dave Pankew | Photos by Somya Siva If you were ever curious about what three years and several hundred thousand dollars does to a project car, you don’t have to look much further than this 350Z. Owned by…
Read More