A Day at the Track

David S.
Update by David S. Wallens to the Ford Fiesta project car
May 30, 2012

One of the finer points of running at Daytona: real garages.
The Kumhos never faded away, but the fronts did get ground down. At least the wear is nice and even.
The Fiesta doesn't feature a traditional gas cap, so it burped a bit of fuel.

For $90 we got four 20-minute sessions plus a few recon laps early in the day. Our math says that’s pretty much a buck a minute.

Our bone-stock Ford Fiesta did quite well at the recent SCCA PDX track day at Daytona International Speedway. Was it the fastest car out there? Hardly. Did we have fun? Definitely.

For $90 we got four 20-minute sessions plus a few recon laps early in the day. Our math says that’s pretty much a buck a minute.

A friend in a Trans-Am got some video of us, too. We’re the silver car he devours in the opening moments.

The big rear bar allowed the Fiesta to drift nicely through the fast turns, while we had to be a bit patient in the slow ones. You can’t power this one through the corners, but a little bit of waiting yields a tidy line.

We pretty much destroyed the stock front tires, but the wear was nice and even. Those stock Kumho Solus KH25 tires held up nicely. They didn’t get greasy and stayed consistent through each 20-minute session. Are they dedicated track tires? No. Did they totally exceed our expectations? Definitely.

The bone-stock brakes did well, too. Like many new cars the Fiesta doesn’t have an engine temperature gauge, but we never saw a warning light.

The stock suspension certainly is soft, but the shock absorber valving isn’t bad. We never experienced wheel-hop or any other weirdness. The car didn’t oscillate.

What else? Well, there’s plenty of helmet room inside, and heel-toe downshifting was easy. Turning off the traction control requires navigating through a few menus, however, so it’s best to take care of that before leaving the grid.

Since this was a fun, relaxed, noncompetitive event we didn’t record times, but once we have some sticky tires and increase our cornering speeds we expect to run with the Miatas. This should make a fun B-Spec car.

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View comments on the GRM forums
AquaHusky HalfDork
5/31/12 3:39 a.m.

You know, that fuel spillage has me a little concerned about possible fire hazards if one was to roll on a public road.

6/1/12 9:47 a.m.

I stumbled upon the Ford Racing suspension kit for the Fiesta for $300 that got me to thinking what else is available for the little Ford. For $1500 total you can have the suspension kit plus a cat back exhaust, performance wheels and tires and cold air intake from Steeda. It’s got me thinking about pulling the trigger on one of these cars. I’ll be watching GRM for updates on this project to see what problems arise.

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