*notcot in tech , 18:01

Ford Racing + 2014 Fiesta ST + Rallycross- 08.02.13

fordRacing000.jpg This post is by our LA based, NOTlabs running, automotive loving, Shawn Sims! He just spent the day with Ford and came back with quite the grin on his face…

When Ford reached out to us and asked if we would be up for checking out the new Fiesta ST and their Ford Racing X Games rallycross team I did not expect to take a ride in the fastest machine I have ever been in. The first thing I noticed when I arrived were all the mechanics and support teams running around preping the cars, changing tires, pumping race fuel, and crawling under the cars. I immediately realized I was in for something intense. I signed all the necessary paperwork, grabbed my helmet, and tried to mentally prepare for the g-forces to come. This 600HP 4 wheel-drive race car is not the Fiesta show room model that you can walk in and test drive. It does 0-60mph in 1.9 seconds! It is a fully custom built championship winning car and behind the wheel was Toomas “Topi” Heikkinen, a Finnish rallycross champion, 3 times X games medalist, and arguably one of the most most aggressive rallycross drivers out there. I climb through the roll cage and one of the crew members hooks up my 4 point harness. We chat for a second before he asks me how hard he should drive and I instantly respond saying “full race speed!” Before I know it we are doing almost 100mph with a turn rapidly approaching and he is not slowing down at all. He flicks the wheel and we go sideways, back on the gas, another turn, hard braking just before we go sideways again around the hairpin. At this point my face is melting and my internal organs are moving all around. We are going through turns sideways and only inches from the barricade. The braking is just as impressive as the acceleration, giving you no relief from the g-forces. When it was over it took me a few seconds, but I realized that driving (or riding) like that is truly as amazing as I have always imagined. The human-machine connection I experienced on that track was sublime.

Check out videos and pictures of the adventure, cars, design details, and their tool boxes on the next page.

Toomas “Topi” Heikkinen waiting for me to hop in… drive0.jpg

Climb on in… drive1.jpg

Get strapped in, and he gives me the OK… drive2.jpg

And we’re off! First, here’s my view while IN the car…

Holding the camera steady was impossible while being tossed around so here’s a 2nd view from a goPro mounted on the roll cage. You can see how sideways we get…

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These 2014 Ford Fiestas are a part of Ford’s new ST Octane Academy at Miller Motorsports Park. All owners of 2013 and 2014 ST’s will be given a voucher for a special Ford rallycross school. fordRacing01.jpg

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After a few laps of hard driving the tires needed to be changed and more race fuel added. They popped open the hood and did a quick inspection each time. Every tool needed to work on these cars was on hand. They had a separate trailer for spare tires and wheels that crews were running in and out of. There were tons replacement body parts since Global Rallycross is a full contact race series.

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Each of the 4 cars on hand went through 8-12 tires each. fordRacing06.jpg

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Their tool box/briefcase setups were impressive. fordRacingTools00.jpg

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Love these colored wrenches. fordRacingTools02.jpg

Depending on the temperature of the track, weather, and type of surface they drive on, they adjust the tire pressure for grip. fordRacingTools03.jpg

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Here’s a close up of that grill… fordRacing00a.jpg

… notice there are sponsor sticker INSIDE the lights? teeth.jpg

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