View Full Version : My seasons in the Toyota Sprint Series 07/08 09

06-08-2009, 12:21 PM
The Toyota sprint series was set up in 07 to give all drivers of Toyotas a chance to compete in timed sprints.

I thought I would post here, how I have fared, the way the development of the car has gone and the lessons I have learned along the way.
There are a few of us on these boards, DanQ races as well.

link to the series.
I compete in class A2, where mods are pretty free, but you must retain the stock turbo housing. typical cars in this class are MR2 turbos, St205s, St185s, the odd lexus, and occasional supra.
All cars have to be road legal, and have a MOT if over 3 years old.
The tracks we race at are normally, airfields or miltary base circuits, to keep costs down, but we have recently added larger proper tracks to the calender.
The first event was a tester, in late 07. My car was pretty much just road spec,
I did this first event with the basic spec as below.
The track was a RAF called barkston, tight and technical.
Charge cooler with larger rad
Standard Ecu
Whiteline control springs
Kyb adj front shocks
St185 front calipers with grooved discs, and pagid pads.
poly bushed front suspension
17" rims with Yoko parada spec 2 tyres.

link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f55r7PN2Ex8

I finished 30th out of 36 cars and last but 2 in my class, It was a step learning curve, the car suffered a number of issues, From a weeping Master cylinder, to poor performance due to heat soak.
I needed to revise my driving style as well, my last competive driving was back in 97, in a NA rwd capri.
I was not using the 4wd traction well, and taking less than great speed though the corners.
Lots of room for improvement from both car and driver.

2008 saw a full series, with 5 events.
The first event saw horrible weather, at a RAF base, the surface was mixed, with poor tarmac, gravel and Mud. This time, the track featured longer straights and coned areas, rather than the natural layout from the first event.
The big change to the car was a FMIC, to get rid of the heat soak, this worked far better as the periods of long idle before starting a circuit, was not great for the charge cooler.

This time, I was more competitive, the repaired master cylinder at least giving me some confidence under braking.
23 out of 41 cars. Still not great, but I started to know how I wanted to take the car forward..
Few other pics of other celicas in the series.

I now had a good idea of how to improve both my driving and car.
With lots of small changes to the set up, changing the rear ARB helpped to dial out the low speed understeer. Tyre pressures helped with traction, a set of Tein pillowball mounts were fitted and camber set to -1.0. to give the front end even more bite into the turn.
We went back to the first track, Barkston heath for the next round.

06-09-2009, 12:07 AM
This was the second time I had visited this track, and I was determined to do much better.

With a better suspension set up, and the FMIC, i was confident that we could have a good day. We had fitted a boost controller by now, so the power delivery had improved, I was still only on 1.0bar, but with the controller the power delivery was much better low down.
My time last year in 07 was 63.62, I HAD to smash this :burn:

my pillow ball units and my inital FMIC set up.
Engine bay
Ready for the track
on track clip
http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b319/leafy1380/th_Movie.jpg (http://s22.photobucket.com/albums/b319/leafy1380/?action=view&current=Movie.flv)

We had a much better day, posting a best time of 60.806!! and with results of 18th overall out off 54 cars and 7th in class!!!

The brake master cylinder failed again :wtf: I was not having much luck with the replacement seals, and then on the way home, the car overheated

It turned out that when I had swapped heads in 07 and fitted my ARP bolts, I had mis understood the installation proccedure, the subsequent head lift was not great, and damaged my TTE metal head Gasket. :thumbsdow
So a great day on track was followed by a disaster on the way home.

The time between rounds was only a couple of weeks, and with the points scoring system, you lost 100 points if you missed a round!!! I had to get to the next track..

I drive the car to and from the tracks, its not trailer queen, and the next track was a 400 mile round trip!

I wanted to get the head skimed ready for the repair work, but a local machining firm let me down, so I had to use a spare head I knew was good, it ended up as a work all night before the race to get the car running.

We got to the venue, but once on the track, (a short circuit in the north of the country called Teeside autodrome. tricky, fast and smooth.) It was clear things were not great. I took it easy on the first two laps, but I was down on power, the engine timing was off, and I was over fueling... Then it rained straight after my two slow first runs... The event for me was a wreck, my times were off thanks to my slow start, I finished last in class and almost last overall... but at least I got my bonus points for attending.
Car looked pretty on track, even if it was mega slow.

We had a good gap between the last round and the next, I had got some sponsorship from a local tuning firm, and we worked out a plan to improve the car.
A new standalone ECU was ordered and fitted, after mapping for the same boost I now had 270bhp and a great delivery, Evo injectors went in and the car had a good going over to sort out any niggles.
FIA bucket seats went in to allow me hang on better in the corners
We did a test session, a first for me, using track time at Brands Hatch to dial in the car and get some seat time with all the improvements.

new engine bay shot, and new seats.

Ready to go out on track at Brands

Round 4.
The track layout above was 2.4miles in total, with a number of mixed surfaces and hazzards such as hidden landing lights ( it was an old airfield ) and solid signs.

An epic rainstorm in the morinng was a real challenge.

It dried out later in the day.
The car ran perfectly, but I over cooked my road tyres, sliding it arround and ripping the tread blocks. It was not the tyres fault as others on road tyres were much faster. I needed some tuition to go quicker, some of the drivers in the series are just naturally fast, others such as me, have to work on it to get to the same level. A tank slapper at over 100mph in 4th, scared me sensless, I was over the limit of my very limited lol talent!

I finished 37th out of 46 drivers and 14th in class...not great.

I did a full days driver training at a local sprint track and found it so helpfull, I gained nearly 4 secs in lap time on a 30 sec track, and my confidence and car control was greatly increased.

I also realised that I needed to change the tyres, They just were not suited to my heavy 165, and the big 17" rims, while tough and good looking, were too big and heavy.

Toyo R888s were purchased and fitted on to 16" rims.
Tyre size is 215 50 16", I would love 225 45 16"sm but they are just too wide for the current rear set up.

Hot air in the engine bay was an issue too, my Blitz Sus filter sucking in loads of hot air on the start of a lap.
a custom cold air box was the answer.

The track was the same as round 3, but this time it was held at night!! :eek:

We stormed round the track, after a crazy first lap. ( we did practice in the late pm, and I choose braking points which were un lit!) I missed nearly every corner and instead of a mid 50 sec lap time I set a time of over 2 mins!!

The tyres worked soo well, giving me so much confidence, and the cold air box was a relevation, a lot more power from the off.. fantastic

I finished 5th in class and an amazing 11th overall, my best result off the year :bigthumbu :burn:

I fitted some tyre lights to amuse the spectators too!
http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b319/leafy1380/th_flashywheels.jpg (http://s22.photobucket.com/albums/b319/leafy1380/?action=view&current=flashywheels.flv)

So that was my first season over, highs and lows, and lots to think about for the 09 season.
First, car prep is crucial, 2, dont change to much on the car without getting lots of seat time. 3, its far cheaper to get the driver to go faster than the car.
I want to improve next year, both the car and my driving. the car is too soft on its fast road suspension, the constant brake problems are a stupid niggle, I make too many mistakes on long courses. On the flip side, the last event showed that I can mix it at the sharp end and fingers crossed in 09, we can record a top 10 finish.

Thanks for reading, please ask away any questions..

Will update with 09 progress tomorrow.

06-09-2009, 12:49 AM
Ugh, jealously is still an understatement!

06-09-2009, 12:59 AM
wow! :bowdown:

06-09-2009, 02:29 AM
Very nice! Thanks for sharing that, cool pics and good job. Keep us updated next season :bigthumbu

06-09-2009, 08:23 PM
Cheers, will try and get 09 progress updated tonight.

Its a labour of love really, as compared to 380bhp stripped out ST205s and 360bhp coilover equipped MR2 Rev 3 Tubbys, I will never win on out right pace. Its a challenge for me to beat my own times and improve as a driver.

The last race of the 08 season saw me beat MR2 turbos, ST185s and ST205s etc and that was a great feeling.

all the car development is carried out by myself and my good Mate Doug, Mapping exculded, and we are starting to do that, we have home made tools for suspension set up etc. The car is used as a fun car on the road too, so there is no point going to extreme, I cannot afford a tow car and trailer and I would hate that, I love the odd sunday morning blast... ( its just mega on the R888s on the normal road, once they have some heat!! lol)

06-11-2009, 11:40 PM
2009 series so far.

First event was at The speed oval track Rockingham raceway.

We used a lot of the banking, and then slow speed stuff on the infield.
In car from a fellow competitor. gives you and idea.

Went to the track with the car, the same as we left it at the end of 08. reason being, I wanted to get a baseline from the first event so we could see which direction to take the care development.

The track was very fast and really did not suit the 165 as well as other tracks, I cannot compete in straight line speed with the 350bhp MR2s and St205s, so I had to try very hard in the corners.

The weather was very warm, and I noticed that my intake temps were high, causing the ECU to worry, so on a fast track, I was loseing power, not great..

We had a pit garage which was very cool.

in the morning sessions I was trying very very hard, but the time just did not come..


But it was not working for me, this was after I lost the back end after heavy braking.

My best time was 90.14secs and really I should be in the mid 80 secs.

On top of the intake temp issue, My master cylinder started to play up again... Grr, As I left foot brake, I am pretty tough on the brakes and this was not helping.

In the afternoon, I focused just on being as commited as possible and it worked.
I improved to a best time of 86.53, not the fastest, but more representative of the cars actual pace.

This year, I have a small column in the local paper's sport pages.

So not a bad start to the year, but work to do.

This year we have 6 events and we can drop the worse race of the season, as only 5 events count to your overall total.

We revised the engine bay layout, moving the FMIC pipes to allow for better cooling.
I stripped out the rear of the car as well, to save a bit of weight.

We travelled to the next track, barkston health, a track that I was very familar with, having raced twice and tested once there. (Shame the test was in monsoon conditions so we did not learn that much!)

A tight testing track, it was narrow and not that grippy, but great for lower powered cars to catch up with the big power monsters.

Early on the brake Master cylinder failed again, last time I would use a 165 one...grr. But still even with pumping the brakes, I was far more competitve.


We pushed really hard all day, and finally I had the holy grail that I wanted in terms of my driving... Consistancy!!!
Copy from offical results
R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8
10 22 A2 Richard Morrow 59.58 60.30 60.19 60.68 60.09 60.17 59.61 59.58

for the last two runs, we made a set up change, softing the front shocks, which produced an instant gain.

I finished in the top ten of the class, beating bigger power ST205s etc.

This event showed me that, the cars road suspension had really reached its limits., as you can see from the pics, the car's roll and pitch is very excessive.

Still it was a great day.

The very next weekend, the car development for 09 started.
We upgraded the troublsome master cylinder, to a ST185 unit.
We fitted larger rear ST185 rear discs

We changed the springs for lower stiffer units
We swapped the stock front ARB for a uprated whiteline unit
We took the front camber to -2.5
The rear camber has now been set to -1.5
We are fitting a flat shift system and a shift light
Few pics
Further plans are to strip the rear subframe out, fit poly subframe bushes, poly bush the rear suspension, along with ST205 rear control arms
Fit an Ex group a rally Xtrac Rear diff from a ST185 with LSD
The next race is on the 28th of June, so fingers crossed, we can crack the top 8 in my class and finish in the top 15 overall.

Cheers for reading


PS big thanks to my mate Doug for all his help with the car.

06-12-2009, 02:41 AM
Just wow!

06-12-2009, 06:36 PM
Great write up rich, glad to see you on here :)


Thats my white 182 in the queue in the background


and the guy scratching his ass in the background of this one is me :)

06-12-2009, 07:01 PM
Clock the compressor housing downwards so you don't have to pipe across the exhaust manifold and fit a solid rear differential mount. A rear strut tower brace makes a notable difference as well in steering response. Keep up the good work! :bigthumbu

06-12-2009, 11:33 PM
how did you clock the turbo, if I try it with mine I will foul the rad. although so far the temps have been spot on with the new set up.

Poly rear diff mount on its way.

got a rear brace already, going to add to it with a trianngulated brace from the rear towers, and a horizontal brace between the bumper mountings for the rear
cheers for suggestions.

hi Dan, you should post up some of your stuff too mate..

06-13-2009, 02:34 AM
hi Dan, you should post up some of your stuff too mate..

ha ha it wouldn't compare my mate! heres a quick summary:

competed in every TSS event so far- the shake down in 07, the 5 round championship in 08 and the 2 rounds in 09.

Car not changed since 07 except for stickers! and replacement tyres of course- still road rubber though for me.

I just enjoy my time at the track, have a great day / weekend with friends :bigthumbu although i must admit it does feel good when i beat the odd turbo'd or more powerful toyota :lolhittin but i'm in it for the buzz, i'll never be good enough to seriously compete :burn:

06-13-2009, 06:00 AM
It doesn't matter where you place, it's about getting better and having fun :D

As for the piping/clocking, I like your original layout, before you routed over the exhaust manifold on the inlet, but with the compressor clocked straight down, or as close as you can get.

Did you keep the TVIS? Really like your car, makes me pine for mine :(

06-13-2009, 09:35 AM
Currently got the TVIS, but set to open all the time, want to get rid and add a spacer instead, but waiting until I have my side feed Manifold ready to fit.

The banter we have with the other sprint guys is great, I just enjoy the whole day, from catching up with the other drivers to the actual driving.

I also love developing the car, trying new things etc gives me almost the same buzz as driving it

Might look at re route of the FMIC pipe work once I have my side feed ready, but its tight in space due to the bigger rad. the joys of a 165!!

06-30-2009, 07:33 PM
Some in car footage from the last race, sadly the suspension set up just didn't work on the low grip surfaces, the front ARB was way too stiff and just gave us understeer all day, in a very competive class, I was off the pace, over working the front tyres.
13 out of 18. But wewe live to fight another day, the rest of the car was great and once we dial out the understeer by swapping back to the stock one, the car will be spot on.


its all about learning.. and fun, dont forget fun!!!

07-28-2009, 02:35 PM
That in car footage was filmed with a major boost leak !
Few pics from the day.
cannot wait to get back out on track with full boost and the revised suspension set up.

07-28-2009, 03:08 PM
Im lovin the action photos! Hmm i dont run the under trays, maybe I should.

07-28-2009, 03:27 PM
I think the trays help with cooling and controling the airflow, so I have left them on, a bit chopped up in places, but intact.
Cheers re the pics, was a good fun circuit

08-07-2009, 05:14 AM
I'll be the first to admit I don't know much about the technical details of cars, but reading this stuff is great man. The love for the machine and the constant working towards bettering yourself is part of what makes racing so interesting (not too far off from running in that respect).

Keep it up, this is great reading and it's neat to see older Toyotas out there competing.

08-12-2009, 09:20 AM
I'll be the first to admit I don't know much about the technical details of cars, but reading this stuff is great man. The love for the machine and the constant working towards bettering yourself is part of what makes racing so interesting (not too far off from running in that respect).

Keep it up, this is great reading and it's neat to see older Toyotas out there competing.

Thank you for your kind words, I hope you enjoy the latest up dates.

First off we went to round 5 off the Toyota sprint series. Woodbridge long.
Prep as always was a good check over, oil change, check off the plugs etc, we tried to fit my new handbrake shoes, but that was a bust, the 162 ones I have are really different :x to my 165 ones. :?: will post pics on another thread.

The new map was fantastic, even on the drive down the car was really flying 8) and I was getting fantastic fuel mileage.
We re set the front camber to -3.5 on both sides, careful inspection of the R888s showed that I could run more.

The track was similar to last years, but slightly shorter and more technical. The weather was really hot and still, no wind to blow gravel over the track

Practice saw us have a couple of niggles, every time I launched, the coolant temp sensor would lose its signal, twice this happened, until we got busy with some needle nose pliers, that SOB aint coming off now!!

Practice times were okay, the car felt really good, but still a little understeery.
My final practice time was a 166.7, okay but slightly off the pace.

Run 1 was untidy, but faster than before a 164.14, but the understeer remained. Checking the tyre pressures hot, the rears were a bit soft, so we upped these and slightly reduced the front. Big result, a drop in time to a 161.66!!

For the championship, I am fighting with 3 other drivers for 8th place in my class, a 400bhp caged ST185, a modified ST205 and a Rev 4 MR2 turbo. At this point I was beating both the other GT4s but the MR2 turbo had me.

In fact the MR2 Turbos did very well at this event, with only 2 big power ST205s beating them in my class,

Now I had confidence in the car, I wanted to push on, but every run saw me make time eating errors, from a half spin, to a missed gear, I was stuck, and my runs went.
162.21, 164.46, 162.20 and a 162.47!!!!!!! Damn it I knew the time was in the car.

The St185 was beating me and the GT4 and MR2 were a clear 4 secs faster.

There was a big crash, driver okay thankfully, but the delay lost all drivers a run.

I was down to my last run, the last chance to get some good points before the final race in October!!

I went balls out, with the thought “fuck it” if I kill the car I kill it.

I locked the brakes twice, cursing the shit ABS, but both times I got into the corner well, I had a huge sideways moment, taking too much kerb, launching the car onto 2 wheels on a gravel section, this was 3rd gear and 75mph +, I just kept my foot hard down and pushed on, making every gear change perfect and clipping the final two apex’s as sweet as I could.

I did it!!!!!!!!!!!!! Final time was 160.02, good enough for 8th in class and 17th overall!! Beating the 400bhp ST185, as well as all the other celicas from CCUK, which Inc a V6 tuned ST182, and a super charged Gen 7!!


My best days racing in a long time, car was amazing, so much more power low down. Just so drivable, and given more seat time, I can get to grips with the cars great balance. The initial understeer gives way to a neutral drift, which can go to oversteer with power.

Only a couple of issues. Stripped lightweight wheel nut, and the slight oil leak from a turbo line getting worse.

08-12-2009, 09:21 AM
Some more pics from the day
Can you spot the fun!!! First time I have been captured on 3!!
Attacking the gravel sections, this was mega with the 4wd
Ready for the off, love the look of the car with its race dirt

08-12-2009, 09:23 AM
This was when I went over a bush and pulled my spare O2 sensor out!
This was the fastest run of the day, I had a huge slide, in which, while I was busy at the wheel, I hit the sunroof switch, opening the sunroof by mistake.
Love these pics
This is me getting it wrong and over shooting a apex!
Car is great under brakes, but the ABS sucks, cannot wait to strip it all out.

Some development on the car
As well as fixing the turbo pipe oil leak, we will fit, my remote filter take off with a new oil cooler.
This will all be done before we go out on track at the silverstone GP circuit, as its got a lot of WOT time.
oil temp, water temp and inlet temp gauges will be fitted in place of the centre vents.

Car needs a damn good clean, as its covered in dust and mud plus bugs from the track.
These will also be fitted 8)

After the Sept track day, the rear re build will happen, so by the end of the year, we will have all the suspension done.
I will be fitting AGX rear inserts at the same time and maybe some additional camber bolts for the front.

08-13-2009, 02:42 AM
That's awesome, I read the whole thing. Can't wait to see more progress, keep us updated

08-13-2009, 07:08 AM
Yes, old Toyota ABS = the sux.

08-13-2009, 01:07 PM
taking the abs fuse out to learn to adapt my driving to ABS free.

next track event is silverstone, the full gp circuit, which will be fun.

Cheers for the comments.

09-27-2009, 06:31 AM
This was an awesome read. Thanks a lot for taking the time to write it :)

This is something I'm looking forward to doing next year to some extent. The girlfriend and I really want to enter some amerature rally races, which I think would be a real hoot in the alltrac.

Cheers bud, best of luck to you!

10-05-2009, 03:43 PM
HAve you done the -6 ex cam gear mod?
I believe it should help the 165 :D

I learned to drift at Barkston, smashing venue.
££ permitting Ill be back.

10-06-2009, 11:30 AM
Cheers guys.
Getting car ready for the last race, 24th of this month, night event, at Teeside.
Car is currently in bits as we fix oil leak from the turbo, re heat wrp exhaust d/pipe and a few other things.

lots planed for winter re build, inc cams from a gen 1 3sge, side feed from ge too etc.

goal is more power, better rear suspension, stripped out ABS.

Will post pics as they come .

10-06-2009, 06:24 PM
nice wright up man that looks like the kind of racing i wanted to do with my old celica good luck at the next race

10-06-2009, 06:38 PM
The night race was mega last year.

Big battle between me and a ST182 fitted with a 3.0v6 for overal top honours in the Celica Club UK championship. I lead by only 8 points going into the final race.
If its dry, he has a good power to weight advantage, but if its wet, the tight chicanes should see my traction win out.

All to play for!!

10-07-2009, 05:38 PM
Can I ask why you decided to use the 1st gen 3sgte engine in your build, and not a second or third gen?

10-08-2009, 02:35 PM
Couple of reasons really.

First, There are so many swapped later motor 165s in the UK, I really wanted to be different, as I personally believe the gen 1 motor has a lot going for it.
Second reason is that If I take the car into different sprint series in the UK, technically I have to stick with the engine block that the car was sold with to compete in the classes I want to.

I know I could off dropped a ST205 lump in the car, but so many second ones have been ragged to hell, that I would of ended up having to get a full rebuild done. My way, there are loads of gen 1 3sgte engines about, having done low miles, sat in rusted to hell cars, so I have a choice of short motors to play with.
Once I have the head built to the spec I want, with the cams etc, I will see 330-350bhp which will suit me to the ground. And if I blow the block, I have plenty of cheap spares to fit in its place.