Mar 3, 2015 update to the Ford SVT Focus project car

Fresh Dirt for Our Fresh Clutch

Mmmmm, handbrake turns!
After a month spent sitting in the garage, the Focus was pretty dirty. Yes, we were made fun of for wiping it off.
We stuck a sticker on the side. Why? Speed.
The FIRM's events are all timed using real rally clocks.
What a difference a clutch makes: the car could finally spin its tires at the line.
One of the things that makes the FIRM's events unique is the asphalt portions of the track. There are lots of transitions back and forth between pavement and dirt.
After eight runs, we heard the distinct sound of a loosening wheel. We used the lug wrench to confirm our suspicions: the left front was loose. A borrowed torque wrench solved the problem.

Our last update ended with us taking a relaxing drive around the block, our new clutch happily propelling us along.

That update didn’t tell the time: 2:45 a.m. Nor did it tell the date: the morning of our next rallycross.

Three hours of sleep is plenty for rallycross, right? We were up at six, helmets in hand, ready to go racing. It was time to start the two-hour-long drive to the Florida International Rally & Motorsport Park. We figured that would be plenty of time to break in the new clutch, despite the warnings to drive “500 gentle miles” before subjecting it to any rough handling.

The car was, once again, a giant ball of fun–so we abused it with wide smiles on our faces. It’s amazing how much faster a Focus can be without a slipping clutch. For this event, we were even able to spin the wheels of the line (something we hadn’t been able to do on the last event’s dirt start line).

How’d we finish? Fantastic! We won the stock front-wheel-drive class, and we were blown away yet again by how easy and fun this car is to race.

The only issue is the competition: there isn’t any. We were up against only one other car in our class (stock front-wheel-drive).

That must mean it’s time to order some parts and bump up to the Prepared classes.

Wish us luck.

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Comments

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1988RedT2
1988RedT2 PowerDork
4/3/15 3:25 p.m.
Tom Suddard wrote: ...It was time to start the two-hour-long drive to the [Florida International Rally & Motorsport Park](http://gorally.com). We figured that would be plenty of time to break in the new clutch, despite the warnings to drive "500 gentle miles" before subjecting it to any rough handling. How'd we finish? Fantastic! We won the stock front-wheel-drive class, and we were blown away yet again by how easy and fun this car is to race.

So.... Two hours times any reasonable speed, let's say 75mph equals 150 miles, leaving 350 more "gentle" miles. So you were of course obligated to drive the event "gently." Makes your class win all the more impressive.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce PowerDork
4/3/15 3:43 p.m.

Unless you have an unusual region, just bump to mod. Except at the national level P seems to be a pretty soft class. Pretty much anyone with any speed bumps to mod regardless of what they've done to the car around here because the racing is better.

EvanB
EvanB UltimaDork
4/3/15 3:43 p.m.

You know you don't actually have to add more parts to bump up a class or two.

Edit: Looks like Seth is faster than me (except in Rallycross ).

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Associate Editor
4/3/15 3:49 p.m.

The FIRM actually only runs two levels–stock or modified. But for now, the Focus will be prepped to a "prepared" standard, rather than all the way to modified.

That will come later.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce PowerDork
4/3/15 3:50 p.m.

In reply to EvanB:

That actually made me check nationals results to see how much you beat me by.

EvanB
EvanB UltimaDork
4/3/15 4:54 p.m.

In reply to mazdeuce:

How much was it?

sethmeister4
sethmeister4 SuperDork
4/3/15 11:17 p.m.

mazdeuce, is your name Seth? I knew I liked you...

WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane Reader
4/3/15 11:41 p.m.
Tom Suddard wrote: That update didn't tell the time: 2:45 a.m. Nor did it tell the date: the morning of our next rallycross. Three hours of sleep is plenty for rallycross, right? We were up at six, helmets in hand, ready to go racing.

I dunno, I just feel like you guys aren't "grassroots" anymore.....

ducks thrown helmets

:) Sounds like fun!

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