Feb 27, 2013 - 10:15 AM - by STdan
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by Nicole Wakelin, July 27, 2015
Ken Block is one heck of a rally driver and he owns the track. He also does the impossible in his Gymkhana videos, which always make it look like heís on the raggedy edge of control. The man is a crazy-good driver and he was recently in New Hampshire for the New England Forest Rally. Ford took the opportunity to send a few journalists up north for a drive with Block. Itíll be fun, they said. Ken Block, they said.
Itís one thing to sit in front of a computer screen and watch Block drive. Itís impressive and makes you hold your breath because it looks like heís about to meet his doom. It could be a tree or a plummet from a barge into the ocean, but doom is lurking. Thankfully, heís got mad skills and brass ones so he always pulls it off.
Watching him drive in person is even more impressive. The sense of speed and the realization of how little room there is for error in his sport become glaring. The trees are impossibly close to his bumpers. The drop offs are deadly.
Ford invited a small group of journalists up to Team OíNeil Rally School in Dalton, New Hampshire while Block was in town for the rally. They asked us if we wanted to go for a ride and, because weíre all idiots, we said yes. They introduced us to Block, put helmets on our heads, and strapped us in to within an inch of our lives.
The car in question was a Ford Fiesta R5 powered by an M-Sport developed 4-cylinder 2.0-liter turbo with direct injection and four-wheel drive. This is a step beyond the older R2 with its 3-cylinder, 1.0-liter engine and two-wheel drive although both have their place on the track. The R5 is a $300K car and, according to Block, it takes another $100K to keep it on the road for a season. This is not a cheap sport, so keeping the car maintained and striving to use parts through their designated lifespans is essential.
I think what happened next was that Block hit the gas, but it felt more... [Read More]
by David Zalstein, 18/07/2015
CarAdvice has recently tested the weekend warrior potential of a handful of turbocharged hatchbacks, but none have been quite as affordable as the 2015 Ford Fiesta ST.Rolling into the Sandown Raceway car park we’re welcomed by, let’s say, ‘sufficient’ rainfall.The track – notoriously slippery when wet – is already suitably drenched. Perfect.Starting at $25,990, the Ford Fiesta ST can be had for little more than a Suzuki Swift Sport ($24,490) and less than a Peugeot 208 GTi ($29,990), Renault Clio RS200 ($29,490) and the newly updatedVolkswagen Polo GTI ($27,490).Strictly available with three doors and a six-speed manual transmission, the five-seat Fiesta ST comes with a turbocharged direct injection 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine putting out 134kW of power at 5700rpm and 240Nm of torque between 1600-5000rpm.Significantly more power and torque than is offered up by the naturally aspirated 1.6-litre Swift Sport, the Fiesta ST needs its overboost function – increasing power to 147kW for 20 seconds between 1600-6000rpm – to equal or better the Polo GTI, Clio RS and 208 GTi.A 290Nm overboost peak helps the Ford (momentarily) surpass the French pair's respective maximum figures of 240Nm and 275Nm, but even with the short-lived boost spike, the ST can’t challenge the 320Nm attached to the new six-speed manual 1.8-litre Polo GTI (the dual-clutch DSG GTI being limited to 250Nm).Back at Sandown to again take part in a Driver Dynamics Level 3 High Performance driver training day, we patiently absorb the ins and outs of a driver briefing, get allocated a group and head back to the car to remove all loose items (read: camera gear).Fortunately for us, the weather has – for the time being anyway – eased, and several patches of the 3.1-kilometre circuit are beginning to dry out.
Thankfully, given the grey and overcast conditions, the smallest sporty Ford comes standard with fog lights and LED daytime running lights, automatic headlights and rain-sensing wipers.Further helping fellow participants spot our Performance Blue Fiesta are bright red ‘ST’ badges front and rear, a neat rear spoiler, a twin exhaust and 17-inch alloy wheels.Excited to head out for our opening laps,... [Read More]
The Ford 3D Store came out with this a few days back. Didn't know if anyone would be interested:
The Ford 3D Store
by Alisdairsuttie, June 24, 2015
Doune is Al Suttie's local hillclimb - no excuses this time!
The Doune Hillclimb is a great hillclimb for many reasons, not least because it's about a mile from my front door. That means it's a five-minute hop in the car rather than a five-hour schlep to most venues for the British Leaders Championship.
Another reason for eagerly anticipating this round of the Primo PLC Leaders Multi Car Hillclimb Challenge, other than a lie-in, was the car we had lined up: the Ford Fiesta ST with Mountune kit.
Ford's official figures say the 215hp Mountune version knocks off 0.2 seconds from the standard car's 6.9 second 0-62mph time. Driving the car on the road, it felt brisker even than that and served to make me and teammate David Finlay all the keener to get cracking up Doune's 1,350-metre course.
Some of that enthusiasm was dampened (ahem) by a very wet start to practice on Saturday morning. Still, I've been up Doune's course more than any other and know where to take it steady. On this occasion, that turned out to be everywhere as the Fiesta struggled for traction off the line and then slithered through every twist and turn.
With no limited-slip differential like the Vauxhall Corsa VXR we ran at Loton Park the week before, the Fiesta could have been a handful. However, nimble and benign handling allied to a much more linear power delivery than the VXR meant that the first greasy run up the hill was completed without incident.
A very conservative 64.53-second run was... [Read More]
By Bark M. on June 11, 2015
Many car manufacturers will sell you a hot hatch. Only Ford will teach you how to drive one after you’ve bought it.
Thanks in part to the success of their Boss Track Attack program (of which your author is a proud graduate), Ford made the decision to offer a one-day track experience to anybody smart enough to buy either a Focus or Fiesta ST.
Since I had such a great time at the Boss Track Attack two years ago, there was no way I was going to pass up this opportunity to head back to Miller Motorsports Park and burn the brakes out of wring out one of their STs at one of the finest motorsports facilities in the world, especially if the track is as doomed as some say it is.
After arriving in Salt Lake City and checking in at the sumptuous Hotel Monaco in the city’s beautiful downtown, I took my rental Toyota Yaris hatchback out to Ken Block’s Hoonigan headquarters in Park City, Utah, where a buffet dinner awaited the ST Octane Academy participants.
I have a lot of things to say about Ken Block and DC Shoes, none of which are particularly nice, so I will just focus on the fact that I met some super cool guys at dinner.
Seated at my table were three young men who worked as engineers for Ford in Livonia, MI, and another young man from NYC who had to take a eighty-five dollar taxi from the airport to Park City because he was only twenty years old and wasn’t allowed to rent a car.
When I visited MMP for Boss Track Attack two years ago, I was the second youngest participant at 35 years old. At 37, I was among the oldest of the nineteen STOA participants.
This pleased me immensely to know there are still many, many so-called “millennials” that have a passion for not only owning such great cars, but also for learning how to drive them.
That being said, none of the other participants had any track experience, and only a couple had even autocrossed before.
We were strongly advised by the lovely young lady who was in charge that we should save the partying for the next night, because we needed to be at MMP no later than 7:45 a.m. the next day.
Also, for anybody who... [Read More]
by Mircea Panait, 8 June 2015
We normally associate Gymkhana with Ken Block. When Ken is in the driverís seat of his Ford Fiesta rally monster, Hoonicorn Mustang or fooling around with the 2016 Ford Focus RS, there will be lots of drifting and tire smoke at the end of his run. As expected, many people grew fond of the Ken Blockís way of Gymkhana-ing, even the racing drivers.
As Ford Motor Companyís Romanian arm celebrated the 400,000th locally built EcoBoost engine, the Ford people deemed necessary to celebrate the event with great pomp and circumstance - Gymkhana style... with an East European twist. For this, we have to cue Simone Tempestini, a 20-year-old rally driver that didnít even have a driverís license when he debuted in the Romanian Rally Championship (CNR).
Simone was 16 when he started playing in the dirt with the big boys. Inspired by his father Marco Tempestini, a rally driver himself, the Napoca Rally Teamís young gun can talk the talk and walk the walk as well. Heck, he won the Danube Delta Rally two days ago in his Ford Fiesta R5. He may be the junior of the team, but heís no junior in terms of talent. But Simone didnít go to the Ford Craiova to compete WRC style.
He was summoned only to have fun behind the steering wheel while scaring the life out of his guest co-pilot. Though the engine block of the R5 rally car is a 1.6-liter EcoBoost turbo similar to the one found in the Fiesta ST, many of the internals have been swapped for motorsport-spec components, including the blistering quick Sadev five-speed sequential transmission mated to front and rear diffs.
With these being said, weíll let the attached video do the talking for Simone and his hooning skills in and around Fordís Craiova plant. After all, a Gymkhana video is worth more than a thousand words. On an ending note, Ford is informing that Craiova-built EcoBoost #400,000 is the 125 HP three-banger. It will power a 2015 Ford Focus Titanium hatchback... [Read More]
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