October 27, 2008 - Torrance, CA - After its first successful season campaigning the Scion tC sports coupe in Formula Drift, North America's preeminent professional drift championship, Scion will return to the series in 2009 with another team supporting a second tC.
The Rockstar Energy Drink/Scion Drift Team Scion tC will be operated by Team Papadakis Racing and driven by two-time Formula Drift drivers' champion Tanner Foust, series cup titleholder for the past two seasons. The Rockstar entry joins the RS*R Scion tC to mount a challenge for the 2009 Formula Drift championship, and like the RS*R team, the Rockstar crew will take a factory-built, front-wheel drive tC and turn it into a drifting contender through a rear-wheel drive conversion.
In addition to his successes in Formula Drift, Foust, 34, is twice an X Games Rally medalist and prolific stunt driver, notably working as lead pilot in the "Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift," "Bourne Ultimatum" and "Dukes of Hazzard" movies. His talents behind the wheel have led to jobs in front of the camera, where he has hosted a variety of automotive programs and even landed one of the three coveted spots on the upcoming American adaptation of the British motoring television series "Top Gear."
Renowned sport compact drag racer Stephan Papadakis is the name behind Team Papadakis Racing, and has an equally impressive résumé. The team owner and manager has also been a licensed Formula D driver over the last four seasons, earning a Rookie of the Year honor in 2005. When he was drag racing, Stephan broke a number of records in a handful of series - including being the first to crack 200 mph in a Honda - and in 2004 narrowly missed earning an NHRA Sport Compact Series Championship.
Team Papdakis works out of 3,000 square-foot shop dedicated solely to race team operations. At the facility, Papadakis and his crew can perform engine builds and have at their disposal an on-site chassis dynamometer and machine shop for custom fabrication needs.
Those resources will be brought to bear in converting the front-drive Rockstar tC into a rear-drive sliding machine. Like the RS*R team learned, the tC shares a common platform with Toyota's Japanese market Avensis four-wheel drive and Caldina all-wheel drive, a factor that will likely help it to undergo the adaptation.
Aftermarket parts company AEM and Toyo Tires join Rockstar and Scion as backers of the second drift tC, as do Motegi Racing, Tokico Suspension, SPC Performance, ACT Clutches, and Memphis Car Audio. However, some partnerships have yet to be finalized and may be subject to change.
Ken Gushi piloted the RS*R Scion tC in the car's inaugural season, and finished a respectable 14th in the 2008 points chase, collecting four Top-16 appearances along the way. Gushi's position in the final season drivers' table qualifies him for the Red Bull Drifting World Championship in mid-November.