Toyota GT86 drifted by ex-F1 ace, Jonathan Palmer

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Feature 23 October 2012

When you’ve done as much fast driving as Jonathan Palmer - been a successful Formula 1 driver, raced Le Mans and BTCC, staged hundreds of track days and trained thousands of drivers on your own circuits - you’re likely to be hard to impress when a new 2.0-litre, four-cylinder sports coupé comes along.

But when JP stepped out of this year’s BBDC champ, the Toyota GT86, having done 20 smoking, tail-out, full-speed laps of the Bedford Autodrome, he made no attempt to restrain his enthusiasm.

“I’ve not been in a GT86 before, but my instant verdict is that it’s terrific,” he said. “Sure, it’s not super-powerful, but it’s nicely balanced and reasonably torquey. The power delivery is smooth, there’s a nice lusty growl from the engine and the gearbox and clutch are lovely.”

Palmer reckons his appreciation of road cars starts with the driving position, and the GT86 has the best. “The wheel is the right size and set almost vertically,” he said. “You’re hunkered down in the car and well located because there’s great side support from the seats.”

However, the handling won JP’s biggest accolade because it’s fun for the novice yet (with stability control off) a decent challenge for the expert. “The grip’s okay,” he explained, “but best of all is the balance. The front will go a bit, the rear will go a bit - it’s your choice. But whatever you do, there’s a feeling of delicacy.

"We’ve all come to expect electronics to correct chassis faults and dull things in the process. Also to think big tyres and stiff suspensions are always right. But this car takes you straight back to an era of mechanical purity, when cars like the Escort Mexico gave you an exquisite, connected feel. That makes it very special.”  

Join the debate

Comments
12

So what!

1 year 48 weeks ago

Can't any competant ex-racer do this?,didn't bother watching, because drifting is drifting isn't it?, what different can you do,especially on a track.

Peter Cavellini.

ex-F1 'ace', really?

1 year 48 weeks ago
  • Active years 1983 - 1989
  • Races 88 (83 starts)
  • Championships 0
  • Wins 0
  • Podiums 0
  • Career points 14
  • Pole positions 0
  • Fastest laps 1
  • source: en.wikipedia.org 

Toyota is a good car brand. I

1 year 45 weeks ago

Toyota is a good car brand. I have a taux hypothèque friends who have the same car with this. He is very good in terms of canadian mortgage rate.

All you have to do is ask

1 year 41 weeks ago

All you have to do is ask yourself what sort of person would buy this car and why, then you have all the answers you will ever need to understand the DB9 and also why it's price is spot on.custom packaging boxes

A very fast car. The Toyota

18 weeks 2 days ago
A very fast car. The Toyota GT86 is one of the cars that I wanted because it is fast.

Nice Car, but as far as for

1 year 37 weeks ago

Nice Car, but as far as for drifting more exciting are tracks located in forests between trees. More adrenaline! Smile

One thing I'd really like to

1 year 36 weeks ago

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1 year 15 weeks ago

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Kinderbetreuung Muenchen

1 year 15 weeks ago

Mans and BTCC, staged hundreds of track days and trained thousands of drivers on your own circuits - you’re likely to be hard to impress when a new 2.0-litre, four-cylinder sports coupé comes along.

Kinderbetreuung Muenchen
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