Toyota Genuine Parts driver Beau Yates has scored his biggest win in six years at World Time Attack, taking out the Honeywell Garrett International Drift Challenge.
Yates won in his 750hp Toyota GT86, beating Japan’s Daigo Saito (Lexus), with Supercar driver Shane van Gisbergen in third.
Yates won the WTAC crown in 2010 and was runner-up in 2011 in his previous car, a Toyota Corolla AE86.
Yates had to contest four one-on-one elimination rounds to reach the final.
He is nicknamed ‘The Show’, but he had to draw on 15 years of drifting experience to beat Saito in a tense semi-final.
Yates and his 86 were faultless again in the final, while van Gisbergen suffered an engine failure.
“I am very happy to win it, because it is such a big event,” Yates said. “It is a good notch to have in the belt.
“I won it in 2010 and was second in 2011, but you can imagine how far the sport has progressed in the last six years in terms of equipment and growth.
“The rain made it difficult, but I’ve been doing this for 15 years and I drew on that experience. Some of the others hadn’t been in those conditions before and made mistakes. We were always looking strong through qualifying and were always up there.”
Yates said his Toyota 86 is in its third year of development, with the turbocharged six-cylinder 2JZ Toyota Supra engine in his 86 delivering 750 horsepower.
“You need heaps of horsepower to turn the tyres, because they’re a large, semi-slick tyre,” he said.
Yates won his first Australian Drift title 2006 and became Toyota Australia’s inaugural drift ambassador.