Yoshihara 2020 Pikes Peak Testing at Buttonwillow Raceway

While Dai Yoshihara and the Evasive Motorsports crew prepare for the 2020 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb this weekend, ENEOS joined them at Buttonwillow Raceway a couple of weeks ago at their only test/tune session. The team put the finishing touches on its 2020 Evasive Motorsports / ENEOS / Turn 14 Distribution Toyota 86 race car before it was transported to Colorado for the event.

Following its 2019 PPIHC attempt, Evasive had extensively reworked the exterior, adding an elegant, yet aggressive Artisan Spirits widebody kit, replacing the former Rocket Bunny/Pandem it had sported for several years. Dai looked to Titan 7 for new wheels, selecting a custom set of Cyber Gold 18×12” T-S5 two-piece forged wheels. As you can already see on social media, the 86 has a new silver vinyl wrap with red accents, and should stand out as it climbs to the sky and the finish line.

Testing went very well considering how hot it’s been in California this summer. Utilizing the same 2JZ engine setup, there wasn’t much fine-tuning required in that department as there was with getting the aero correctly dialed-in. During the morning sessions, the EVS front splitter needed reinforcement cables to keep it stable under full throttle, and the rear wing required adjustment to maintain downforce. Once those areas were addressed, Dai began to feel some serious improvements.

“Testing has gone great,” said Yoshihara. “In the morning sessions, the splitter kept falling off, but after it was fixed, the car ran extra-strong. Since there’s such a limited time to test, we have to get the best performance out of it [before race day]. It should be really competitive, maybe better than last year…”

Mike Chang from Evasive added, “There comes a point when you know the car’s ready.  Buttonwillow testing gives us that lap time reference, so if we can match what the car did before, it means we’re on course with what we saw last year, and if it’s faster, we did something good. It all comes down to his confidence: if Dai feels 100-percent, then we’re good.”

Watch more from Dai’s testing session at Buttonwillow on his YouTube channel:

Stay tuned this week to ENEOS social media channels for updates relating to the 2020 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Good luck, Dai!


Words/Photos: Jonathan Wong