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Motorsports Celica GTS: Kyle's Time Attack Car!

by Frank Ewald

The Toyota Celica is a car that, if you are like me, you have probably admired and enjoyed over the years. And then wondered why it vanished from the lineup. Over the decades that Toyota produced this model they have been both fire breathing dragons and then merely enjoyable sporty type cars. Kyle Beaty's Celica GTS was the latter. A sporty type car that began its life with him nine years ago, as his first car and basic get around vehicle. The chassis of Kyle's Celica now has 380,000 kilometres or 236,000 miles on it. He has owned this 1990 model since he was seventeen. His first car. The one he drove to high school. This Celica GTS is an incredible car that has not only been built to handle and perform incredibly well on the track, but it also looks stunning. A huge thanks to Chris De Freitas at Stage Four Motorsports for taking the time out of his busy schedule to work with Kyle on some pics. Photo Credit: Stage Four Motorsports.

 
 
Imagine pulling into your high school parking lot in this! Photo Credit: Martin Gdyczynski.
Of course, when Kyle drove the GTS to school during his senior year it did not have the aggressive face that it does now. This came with the addition of an Alltrac's bumper cover and a home made air dam.

 

When he bought the car it was already 17 years old. Kyle was 17. The car was listed for $1700 - actually it was $1800 but we seemed to be on such a roll of 17s - yet Kyle only had $1200 cash saved up for his future vehicle. Kyle's direction for his dad and brother, who were helping with the vehicle search, was simple. Not a truck. As his dad and brother were truck guys this was an important qualifier. That they found him a Toyota is no surprise because they were both fans of the marque. His dad, Glenn, found the 1990 Celica GTS within an hour of their hometown and, with some debating about the price and the needs of the car (brake replacement, dented fender, a few other worn items), they took it home to the Niagara Peninsula for $1200. Exactly the amount Kyle had saved. This was the first year of this body style, the fifth generation Celica, and it was a car he was very happy to have parked in his driveway. Needless to say, he was not aware of the car's full potential.

 

The Celica is a momentum car. Low horsepower. High cornering speed. And it has a very imposing look when it is looming in your mirrors. Toyobura - the GTS is coming for you! Depending upon the setup, the Toyobura is at least two classes higher than the Celica with Ontario Time Attacks' classification system and has raw times 1 to 2 seconds faster than Kyle.
 
The first thing that they did was put new brakes on the Celica to make it road worthy. Glenn did all of the work, with Kyle absorbing and learning as the job was completed. Everything Kyle knows about cars he learned from his Dad. In addition to trucks, Glenn was into muscle cars and he shared his love of automobiles and how to wrench on this with Kyle. Knowing the mechanics of keeping it running was critical for a teenager who had just invested his life savings into a car almost two decades old. And now is even more critical as he has turned it into his time attack weapon. Kyle has made it his mission to learn as much as he can about maintaining his car plus setting it up for competition. Not to mention driving schools and having great instruction on track.

Racing was inevitable for Kyle, as his step-dad, Abel, was an oval track racer so Kyle was often at the track helping out on pit row, in the paddock, and breathing in the atmosphere. The challenge was how to make the best of his limited finances and yet still enjoy the track experience. Buying his own dedicated oval track racer was not a possibility, so Kyle took the Celica GTS out to open track days at Toronto Motorsport Park. Kyle is one of the lucky ones in that the track is right in his neighbourhood. Well, his extended neighbourhood. Glenn got him up to speed on what was needed to effectively wrench on a car. Abel got him grounded in what was required to enhance a car's handling plus how to race a car on the track. With this dual force supporting him, in 2009 Kyle hit the track in the most affordable way possible. In his Celica GTS with ancient tires but an otherwise mechanically solid car. At the track he met Chris De Freitas from Stage Four Motorsports. That was the beginning of a solid relationship and Kyle drives under the Stage Four banner.

 
The red highlights are subtle yet they really set off the car. The red in the sponsor sticker. The pinstriping on the wheels. This car is in fantastic condition. Partially because it only spent one winter in Ontario salt. It was originally a British Columbia car (next to no snow in the Greater Vancouver area).
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Comments
smoketreegarage
smoketreegaragelink
Tuesday, January 26, 2016 6:16 AM
Frank, love the Canadian content, keep it up! I watched him battle it out with k-swapped civics back in 2011. Good guy and really cool car.

Marc
sethulrich
sethulrichlink
Tuesday, January 26, 2016 9:45 AM
My eyes must be playing tricks on me...I only see 3 runners on that exhaust manifold!
nissannx
nissannxlink
Tuesday, January 26, 2016 10:27 AM
Marc, thanks for the encouragment. I'm glad you're enjoying it - and that you've seen Kyle's Celica in action!

sethulrich, that's just the camera angle. Believe me, this is a four cylinder and not an exotic three cylinder setup. LOL
Frank
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