What potential do you have when you show up to a Corvette autocross, in a Toyota 86? Well, you actually have the potential to win. This year marked the 18th annual spring fling autocross event fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club held at the Indio Fairgrounds located just past Palm Springs in California. This spring fling autocross has been come to be known as “the fun autocross” due to no points tracking or sanctioning body affiliation. This run what ya brung style event really embodies the purpose of autocross-to have fun! Oh, and bragging rights. Let’s not forget that.
Hosted by the Corvette Club, this autocross is open to all makes and models and you see all the typical suspects there. Corvettes, Mustangs, Vipers, Honda S2000s, and other vehicles you typically see out at the track or auto events on the weekend were there. Since 2013, the FR-S and BRZ have been making waves, with the simple combo of lightweight and rear wheel drive making for lots of fun. Does that fun, excitement, and thrill still carry on with the 2017 models?
With the Scion brand executed recently, Toyota continues the vehicle production under a new name; The Toyota 86. Driver Jonathan Lugod brought out a stock 2017 Toyota 86 and gave other participants at the event quite the shock after seeing lap times he was putting down.
Lugod’s 86 did feature the TRD package that is available from Toyota which provides bigger sway bars on the front and rear, upgraded catback exhaust, and a less restrictive intake. To top that off, wheels on the new 86 remain the same size at 17″ but are now half an inch wider bringing the setup of the car to be riding on 17×7.5 on all four corners.
The huge secret that Lugod had up his sleeve however was the Hoosier A7 tires, which are specifically made for autocross and track applications. With the sticky tires on the car, Lugod had all the tools needed to have a real weapon on his hands. Since this is very much a grassroots style event, no one had their race team there doing prep works-all drivers could be seen tweaking things on the vehicles to get that last bit of performance and swapping wheel and tires themselves.
Watching Lugod and his Toyota 86 ripping around the autocross track, it’s clear that the car is perfectly at home dodging cones and quickly skirting between corners. Although the Toyota 86 has only 205 hp, they managed to pull off the fastest lap time of 38.7 seconds including the time tacked on for clipping a cone after passing the finish line, since cones hit before and after the start will still effect your results with an included penalty.
Many long time enthusiasts and autocross drivers were at the event and thoroughly impressed with the Toyota. Rod Derrick, a reigning autocross champion had some really positive words to say about the Toyota 86. “Any car that is that well prepared form the factory and can be that fun to drive…I mean you don’t need to be a young guy to be able to have one. A grown up can have one and grin too.”
After hitting the course one more time, 86 driver Jonathan Lugod said, “It felt great, I did it again. I did a 38.8, but this time it was clean.” He’s looking to head back onto the course again, and hopes to go even faster next time around.