Rallycross With Rally Tires

Tom
Update by Tom Suddard to the Ford SVT Focus project car
Sep 22, 2015

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After learning the basics of rallycross on street tires, we bolted much more aggressive rubber onto our 2003 Ford SVT Focus. Then, in true 21-year-old fashion, we broke our collarbone mountain biking. This meant that the Focus spent its summer sitting in the driveway, Maxxis rally tires still proudly mounted on Team Dynamics wheels. Meanwhile, its broken driver sat on the couch. Hey–at least we could still race on Forza.

After a summer of waiting, we were finally ready to race again. So, after a bath and a brake job (special thanks to Hawk Performance for hooking us up with a set of HPS Brake pads, we headed over to our favorite rallycross venue: the FIRM. Their RallyX at the FIRM series of events are rallycrosses on steroids, with courses that approach four minutes in length and cover all sorts of different surfaces. Plus, there are unlimited practice runs.

How’d it go? After one practice run, the Focus’s once-intermittent ignition issue turned into two dead cylinders. We spent most of the day diagnosing and replacing broken parts, but ended it with seven clean runs. After a summer away from the wheel, we’ll call that a success.

Of course, we also came back from the event with a laundry list of changes and fixes to complete before our next race. We might have even scraped a hole in the exhaust–hey, they say rubbin’s racin’.

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Comments
Lof8
Lof8 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
9/22/15 12:40 p.m.

I'm glad you guys were able to get some runs in! Do you happen to have any photos of the gray Ranger truck that was there? That was me :) I'm trying to gather some pics if possible. Thanks.

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Editorial Assistant
9/22/15 1:43 p.m.

That was you?! We were talking all weekend about how awesome the Ranger was. Wish we had come over to say hi. I'll look through our pictures and see if we snapped some of you.

Lof8
Lof8 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
9/22/15 3:38 p.m.
Ed Higginbotham wrote: That was you?! We were talking all weekend about how awesome the Ranger was. Wish we had come over to say hi. I'll look through our pictures and see if we snapped some of you.

yeah! It was the Ranger's first real outing, pretty fun! I came in late and was parked down at the end of the line. I came your way to talk with my buddy, John, in the miata, but you guys were busy underneath the car troubleshooting. I'm glad you got to get some runs in, no fun with a broken car!

 photo 600B3AB8-E757-462C-8405-808A37B76F68_zpsmcd2x2jv.jpg

irish44j
irish44j PowerDork
9/22/15 3:38 p.m.

Tell your guys at Maxxis to sell some 14" gravels and then I'll be interested....lol

Brett_Murphy
Brett_Murphy GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/22/15 3:48 p.m.

Four minutes?

I'm envious.

Nick (Not-Stig) Comstock
Nick (Not-Stig) Comstock PowerDork
9/22/15 4:53 p.m.
Lof8 wrote:
Ed Higginbotham wrote: That was you?! We were talking all weekend about how awesome the Ranger was. Wish we had come over to say hi. I'll look through our pictures and see if we snapped some of you.
yeah! It was the Ranger's first real outing, pretty fun! I came in late and was parked down at the end of the line. I came your way to talk with my buddy, John, in the miata, but you guys were busy underneath the car troubleshooting. I'm glad you got to get some runs in, no fun with a broken car!  photo 600B3AB8-E757-462C-8405-808A37B76F68_zpsmcd2x2jv.jpg

I'd like to learn more about rallyxing a small pickup. Care to elaborate a little? Is there a build thread or other thread somewhere that may be of interest?

Lof8
Lof8 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
9/22/15 5:23 p.m.

I haven't done a whole lot to it really but it's a lot of fun! The few mods are discussed in this thread: Truck and other stuff.

irish44j
irish44j PowerDork
9/22/15 5:29 p.m.

we've had various smallish pickups come to our events over the years. Mitsu Mighty Max, Toyotas, etc. They do OK but in stock-ish classes most of them are pretty underpowered (since generally the low compact trucks came with pretty measly engines), and in prepared classes they aren't particularly quick either, especially since the suspension designs and relative weight imbalance are really not as good as most of the popular RWD rallycross cars. I'm sure there are people who do well in pickups out there (depending on course and terrain type I'd say), but I haven't seen any that terribly impressed me in the last four years of rallycross, nor any that could come close to the top cars in RWD classes around here. YMMV though. I do, however, hear almost all of their drivers say that they're fun as hell to drive, since it's so easy to hang the rear end out.

On the upside, hauling all your gear there is easy, and if you run someplace that gets really muddy a lot, you have a ton of tire options in all-terrain sizes that won't fit most passenger cars. So that woudl be a big upside for muddy or particularly rough venues.

Nick (Not-Stig) Comstock
Nick (Not-Stig) Comstock PowerDork
9/22/15 8:37 p.m.
Lof8 wrote: I haven't done a whole lot to it really but it's a lot of fun! The few mods are discussed in this thread: Truck and other stuff.

Holy Toledo, You have way more fun than I have!

rcutclif
rcutclif GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/22/15 9:49 p.m.

Ok, maybe not your average small pickup. But it looks like fun to me!

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