The way in which of the FiST – Part five: Driver Comforts and Yokohama A052 Test

In our last “The Way of the FiST” article , we had our 2019 Ford Fiesta SAINT project car up on the race scales and found ways to allow it to be lighter while still remaining inside the SCCA rules for that H-Street class. We added several lightweight wheels wrapped in sticky Yokohama Advan A052 200-treadwear rubber, and we installed several forged aluminum lightweight lug nut products from Skunk2 Racing . It had been time to hit the autocross program again to see how much we enhanced the car. But before we went to the particular track, we added a few beast comforts for the driver.

Let’s Get Shifty

SCCA road class rules are pretty limited when it comes to modifying your car, however , change knobs are open. We made a decision to upgrade to the Cobb shift button because it was a little taller (for better driver ergonomics) and because it had been lighter than stock.

Rule 13. 2 Electronic of the SCCA National Solo Guidelines states: Alternate shift knobs or paddles are allowed. That will meant we had something we could improve! We shopped around for different change knobs, hoping to find something that felt great in the hand and possibly improved the particular ergonomics between the driver’s right equip and the gear shift lever. We all finally decided on the Cobb shift knob because it had been manufactured out of Delrin, which is much lighter in weight than steel.

The stock Fiesta from ford ST shift knob weighed within at 0. 337 pounds in which the more ergonomic Cobb shift button weighed in at 0. 258 pounds, saving us a whopping zero. 079 pounds. Sure, it is not much, but at least the customization didn’t add weight.

The Cobb shift button was about half an inch higher than the stock Ford shift button, making it easier to grab. On the weighing scales the knob was 0. 079 pounds lighter, which you could claim weighs about as much as a sweet fart. In reality, the new knob is not the best looking, but we are constructing an autocross racer, not a display car. What mattered to all of us was that it felt good within the hand and was lighter compared to stock. A win-win for a speed.

To remove the stock knob, merely get out your strong gorilla fingers and twist counter clockwise. To set up the new Cobb shift knob, rewrite it on and hand tighten up. Simple and easy. The Cobb shift button works well with the reverse lockout pull-up handle.

Among the other reasons we chose the Cobb change knob was because of the positive reviews on the internet that indicated it worked properly with the reverse lockout pull-up handle on the shifter shaft. Many other aftermarket replacement shift knobs on the market had issues of the reverse lockout being an concern. The Cobb model worked flawlessly. It was an easy installation that was therefore simple, it took us lengthier to get the box open than this did to actually install the component.

Give Me The Belt

In this box is a simple to use and incredibly easy to install 4-point harness that will help support the driver in the seat during aggressive handling at an autocross.

SCCA rules allow for harnesses to become installed to help hold the driver seated. My preference for racing seatbelts is to use an Autopower 7-point system, which is what we use within our Honda Challenge road racing cars. The restriction for this type of full racing control setup is that you really need a rollbar for the shoulder harnesses to work properly. I couldn’t find a commercially accessible harness bar for the Fiesta, and didn’t want to install a racing rollcage into an autocross car since it would add too much weight upward high, thus raising the center of the law of gravity. The easy solution was to purchase the Schroth QuickFit 4-point harness which is made specifically for the particular Fiesta.

These Schroth 4-point devices are specifically designed for the 2014-2019 Fiesta from ford and simply click into the existing seatbelt buckles. When you aren’t autocrossing, just unbuckle the belts and remove them of the car.

The installation was extremely basic. The only tool needed to install the particular Schroth belts was a T46 celebrity socket to remove the OEM seatbelt bolts from the left side from the driver’s belt and the left back passenger’s belt. At these two factors, a small latch plate attached to a few webbing was installed along with the OE belts using the stock bolts. This enables for the OEM seatbelts to be used at any time.

Using a T46 plug, remove the OEM bolt that retains down the left side of the still left rear passenger safety belt. Place the Schroth part in place, and then make use of the OEM bolt to hold down both stock seatbelt and the Schroth seatbelt. Done!

To finish the installation, we simply buckled the left side belts in to the latches just bolted into the vehicle. On the right side, we latched into the stock seatbelt buckle. What exactly is really cool about this design is that it immediately defeats the seatbelt minder security alarm. I have autocrossed cars with race harnesses that confused the car straight into thinking somebody was in the seat with out wearing their safety belt, plus rang an alarm the entire period you were driving. Annoying!

The glenohumeral joint harness components of the Schroth seatbelts go over the shoulders of the drivers, under the headrest, and the left part plugs into the stock rear seatbelt buckle near the middle of the rear chair. The other belt buckles to a Schroth-specific latch plate that is attached to the particular stock seatbelt bolt.

Give Me A Number

The first time we autocrossed the Fiesta , we cut some custom made stickers for the car to select our car number, 38, plus class, HS. We didn’t wish to drive around on the street everyday searching for unwanted street racing requests, and we peeled the stickers off following the event. Since we planned on traveling the car around on the street and visiting multiple autocross events, we desired to create a magnet number plate that people could easily put on and remove the car.

We reduce more stickers and ordered a few blank magnet material to create our very own door panels. When we are racing they may be stuck on the door, when we are not racing we simply peel the particular magnet off and store the doors on our refrigerator at home, making it the particular fastest looking refrigerator around.

All of us created some removable magnets along with my car number and course to put on and take off the car with regard to regional events. For national activities we will switch back to lighter weight peel off stickers.

Pack Plus Let’s Roll

After we had our driver upgrades designed in the interior, we packed up the vehicle and headed to a local autocross occasion. The hot-hatch Fiesta has excellent luggage capacity. We were able to place everything we needed for a competition weekend right into the back of the vehicle. We put our Yokohama auto tires inside some Tire Totes to keep the interior clean.

Something I love about this Fiesta is just how versatile it is as a hatchback. Using the rear seats folded down, there is certainly tons of room. Here I have a whole race trailer worth of things stored inside the rear hatch region (four Yokohama tires, jack, jack port stands, torque wrench, air container, air gauge, helmet) providing me personally everything I need to tackle an autocross.

At the occasion, we jacked up the Fiesta plus slapped on our secret weapon for your race: the Yokohama Advan A052s . We bolted on our extremely light OZ Racing Ultraleggera tires with our Skunk2 lugs nuts plus were ready for battle.

Time to pull off the heavy stock wheels plus road-going Michelin tires to replace associated with our lightweight OZ Racing tires and Yokohama Advan A052s meant for racing. Safety Tip: Always use jack port stands. Always!

We torqued our lug nut products, drove around the paddock, and then torqued the lug nuts again to ensure we had solid attachment to the hubs. I was planning on driving the tires off of this car (figuratively speaking), so I wanted to ensure everything has been attached perfectly. It is crucial that haul nuts are torqued correctly, particularly when upgrading to a 200-treadwear tire, such as the Yokohama, that is going to put a lot more drive into the hub during competitive generating.

To correctly torque our light-weight forged aluminum lug nuts, we all use a Craftsman digital torque wrench tool, set to the Ford factory standards of 100 foot-pounds.

We walked the training course and found it was a difficult, tight, and technical course, one which would prove to be an advantage for the front-wheel-drive Fiesta. We paid the sign up fee ($40 – a bargain to visit racing) and parked the Fiesta on the grid. There I had an opportunity to look at the competition in H-Street. Appealing was a Ford Focus SVT in our course. It would be an old versus new fight, the SVT versus the ST . Furthermore running, not in my class, however in my run group, were Mustangs and Corvettes. It would be interesting to find out how the little Fiesta would endure. Let’s party!

The Fiesta on-grid and ready for some autocross activity. Yes, that is a legitimate Ford Shelby GT350 parked right behind the Closed fist. SPOILER ALERT: Believe it or not, the $19, 000 Fiesta ST bested the particular $65, 000 Shelby GT350 simply by 3 seconds on a 40-second autocross course. No joke.

Green, Green, Green!

When the green flag dropped, I actually dumped the clutch and reprehended on the gas. Heading into the very first corner, I knew right away there were substantially improved the Fiesta. Specifically, it was because of the Yokohamas. They were acting much closer to an actual race car tire than I expected them to. I use run on other 200-treadwear tires and also you could always tell they were road tires. But the Yokohamas, they served like race tires, which was great because I was peddling the little Fiesta between the cones with furious frustration. The good news was I could concentrate the driver inputs into the steering wheel, throtle, and shifter without having to hold me personally into the seat while hard traveling, since the Schroth 4-point harness all of us installed was holding me comfortably in place. This allowed me to become more precise behind the wheel.

With our sticky Yokohama Advan A052 tires, it had been time to shred the autocross program. The new donuts made this a totally different car to drive, providing excellent initial turn in and grip.

When I drove the particular Fiesta in bone-stock form on the last autocross, it really had a huge push to it (meaning my controls was turned, but the car had been still going straight). The Yokohamas deleted almost all of the push. I was actually able to get the car’s rear end in order to step out a bit. I was very happy with all the initial run on the course.

All of us ran a staggered air stress to start: 36 psi front plus 40 psi rear. Once the wheels heated up a bit after the 1st run, the pressures came upward a bit. You can see on our tire measure memory that we were at forty. 4 psi rear and close to 37. 8 psi front. We all bled them down to our primary pressures before the next run.

After my very first run, we checked the air challenges, made some minor adjustments, and then ready to hit the course again. Regarding my second lap, I wanted to become even more aggressive and really find the limitations of the Yokohama tires. I proceeded to go deeper into each corner plus tried to get on the happy your pedal sooner to carry more speed via each turn. The tires held sticking, and lap after panel, my times were falling.

The particular Fiesta was uber quick over the tight and twisty autocross program setup by the Fresno Chapter of the San Francisco Region Sports vehicle Club of America. The car focused the morning run group, raising the inside rear tire in every part (like a dog lifting its lower-leg to relieve itself on an orange cone). Autocross photo simply by Anthony Topalian.

After my laps had been complete, I looked at the results. The particular “Way of the FiST” Fiesta had taken home first place in H-Street plus held the top PAX time (adjusted time by class) for the early morning run group. Not only did the particular Fiesta beat the Focus SVT, it also beat a Shelby GT350 Mustang in a faster class, and 2 Z06 Corvettes. Sure, some of you happen to be saying, “no way a Fiesta beat a GT350! ” Nicely, sorry Ford Muscle fans, but on this small program, on this day, it did.

Taking a look at the wear and the amount of roll-over the tire sustained (right towards the edge), it appears we had the wheel pressure pretty spot on. After a complete day of autocrossing, the Yokohama A052 tires are holding up excellent.

For our following installment of “The Way of the particular FiST, ” we will be baselining the particular stock horsepower and torque from the Fiesta ST before installing the cat-back exhaust from FSWerks , and dyno testing multiple drop-in air filters to see if we can make up some more power. And in the near future, we still want to upgrade the particular struts with some adjustable units through Motion Control Suspension (MCS) to make this Fiesta actually faster. Stay tuned for more partying in the future!

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