With some of the best help possible, Kenny Chieu Racing prepared their 2000 Toyota MR-S just in time for the 2014 Top Drift season. New changes to the vehicle include a competely redone fuel
system to run E85 fuel, featuring Radium Engineering's Bosch 044 Fuel Surge Tank, fuel lines from G&J Aircraft, a new fuel cell mounted at the front of the vehicle. Kenny has a new engine being
built for this season, which will not be ready until the 2nd round. On the powertrain side, a new Radium Engineering Lotus 2zz turbo manfold is a beautifully designed piece to feed the Turbo
by Garrett GTX2860R. After all of these changes, the engine puts out a conservative 260whp.
Saturday practice was the first time Kenny had driven the MR-S after the off-season hiatus. Run after run, the car was being adjusted to make it more comfortable for Kenny to drive. Kenny says...
The changes we made to the car are noticeable right off the bat. We took a step back in order to move two steps forward but once we get the car dialed in, I'm sure it will have no problem
keeping up with the Top Drift veterans.
On the first qualifying run, Kenny threw in a very aggressive entry and targeted the first clipping point. The transition towards the first outer clipping zone seemed to make the judges happy.
As he exited and came towards the last outer clipping zone, the engine developed a misfire which caused the engine to lose significant power to make it through the last turn, but finished the
lap without losing drift.
Kenny returned to his pit to investigate the issue. With the help of his Run Devil Run teammates, a diagnosis suggests that the engine may be hurt and is running on only 3 cylinders.
Kenny's spotter, Quoc Ly, reported that the first run did not look promising for top 16 placement. Kenny had to take a gamble on his first run, or on his hurt engine. He later decided to
attempt a 2nd run.
Knowing that the second run an all or nothing effort, Kenny drove the car as well as best as he could. His entry and transition were as good if not better than that of his first run, but it
was the first outer clipping zone where the hurt motor definitely showed. With about 60hp less than he was used to, recovery was difficult and Kenny ended up in the dirt, getting a 0 on
the 2nd run.
During his off-road excursion, one of the front lower control arms had been badly damaged. Not knowing if he would advance to top16, Kenny's team removed the control arm and repaired it using a
welder borrowed from a fellow competitor. The car was repaired in time for the top16 competition but we unfortunately did not make the cut.
One round in on the 2014 Top Drift season, Kenny sits 21st in points. Kenny and his team plan to continue the build on a more powerful motor and come back at round 2 stronger than ever.