Drifting at 300km/h? We have tyres for that.
Using Toyo Proxes R1R and R888 reigning Japanese drift champion Masato Kawabata has set a new world record for the fastest ever drift – 304.96 kilometres an hour.
The stunt, verified by the Guinness World Records, saw Team Toyo’s Kawabata-san control a 30-degree drift in a modified 2016 Nissan GT-R Nismo. The scene for the slide was three kilometres of runway at Fujairah International Airport, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Producing 1,380 horsepower at the rear wheels, the modified Nissan GT-R’s run eclipses the previous 217km/h record set in 2013 by Jakub Przygoński of Poland in a modified Toyota 86.
The rear wheel-driven GT-R was prepared by GReddy Trust technicians, and tested extensively at Fuji Speedway and on site. Kawabata had three attempts to break the record, in keeping with strict guidelines enforced by Guinness World Records.
Shod to RAYS lightweight alloys, Toyo Tires Proxes R888 rear and R1R front saw the vehicle through the stunt.
Nissan Middle East’s press release read: “The car was set up for agility while maintaining stability and confidence-inspiring handling characteristics – essential when performing such challenging feats.”
Toyo Tires local technical department said the forces the tyres endured were extreme and a testament to the vehicle control offered by the Proxes range.
“Toyo Tires’ innovation focus has enabled us to lead the market in performance. I thought Ken Block was pushing the Proxes, but this stunt might demonstrate the greatest pressure exerted on tyres in the history of motorsport.
“Initiating a slide at over 300km/h you want to know you have total control.
"It seems counter-intuitive but grip is absolutely essential to drift; Masato Kawabata is the best and most demanding drift driver in the world,” the representative said.
“This record is an extreme feat of engineering and daring. Performance at this level is known to few. Kawabata San has been pushing the limits of drifting for many years but this is an astonishing achievement.”
The data from the drift will be used in the development of future tyres, from passenger car to race-ready.
“The information collected during, and in the build-up to this exercise will continue to inform the innovations Toyo makes in motorsport and road performance tyres.”