What is the best way to promote the “supreme handling qualities” of the Toyota 86? A billboard? A video homage to Initial D? For Toyota UK, only a message that could be seen from space will suffice, hence the ‘Donuts from Space’ project.

The idea is to “paint” the car’s famous 86 logo in tyre marks, but they have to be large enough for an orbiting satellite to capture. Obviously, this isn’t a task meant for amateurs, and only the most qualified “artist” will suffice.

Enter Fredric Aasbø, the 2015 Formula Drift World Champion, and his trusty “paintbrush,” the Icom Toyota Express Service 86-X. The competition version of the 86 has been heavily modified if it wasn’t obvious from the start, and packs a 3.4 litre turbocharged six-cylinder engine that tortures tyres with its 1,166 hp (1,150 bhp).

Despite the ‘donuts’ in the project name, accomplishing the feat isn’t just about driving the car in circles. Instead, it requires precision planning involving the driver, the camera crew and the team plotting the exact time at which the satellite would pass overhead to capture the image.

“When I was told about the project I thought, ‘Is this for real?’ then it was, ‘Heck yeah, let’s do it!’” said Aasbø. Along with two road-going 86 cars, the competition drifter managed to execute the design on the 137-m diameter steering pad at the Millbrook proving ground in Bedfordshire.

“Drifting is controlling a car that is essentially out of control, but this was the first time I had used my car as a paintbrush. It was epic and the highlight of my year,” he said.

While everything can be planned in advance, the weather was always an uncertainty. Thankfully, one of Airbus’ twin Pléaides satellites circling in space, 800 km above the earth, managed to capture the image. The National Geo Centre meanwhile, helped calculate the precise time at which the satellite and 86 logo would be in perfect alignment.