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satakal 12-08-2008 09:21 AM

San Diego autox with dad's focus
Took my dad's 2000 zx3 to the autocross on Saturday. It was a blast. Before the event, I changed shoes, oil, brake fluid, and upgraded to Hawk HPS pads. Other than that, its the same old, poorly maintained focus that dad drives to work every day.

Obviously, the car is slow. Sadly, the brakes didn't whoa down the car as quickly as I would have liked. The tires were loud and cheap. But, once I adjusted the tire pressures to 38 front, 44 rear, the car was able to rotate pretty good.

I really really enjoyed the day and my laps. I was thinking about the differences between this and the 335. The major one is, with 300 hp, autox is a game of getting into and through the elements so that I can committ to the throttle as soon as possible. Like a game of managing the power. With the focus, its about trying to conserve all the speed that little 4 cylinder could find. My instructor buddy had some funny things to say about driving a low power front drive car. "That pedal in the middle, yeah, we want to use that as little as possible." "The pedal on the right, that's a switch. Either on or off."

My car with me in it would have posted something like a 93 second lap. The foucs was able to break 100 seconds on the last run. I beat lots of BMWs with that time. I think the car was the slowest thing there. But, it wasn't driven the slowest.

Next time, me and dad will share the car at the autocross. He's very excited about having a go.

Oh, just an fyi, the car was bogging at 4k in 2nd gear, mid turn. We think it was a fuel starvation thing. I filled up the gas tank and no more loss of power mid turn.

YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.

levin.matthew 12-08-2008 09:47 AM

hah very nice man! foci are def. a fun vehicle to drive in an autox event.

i took my car to one and had a blast...

satakal 12-12-2008 05:12 PM

I had so much fun last weekend, I'm off to do it again this weekend. But this time, focus on Saturday, 335 on Sunday. I feel like I learned a whole lot and this car is really good for my development. If only I could find a braking solution that would work for Buttonwillow, I'd HPDE this car.

Mr.Bergner 12-12-2008 05:26 PM

Yeah your fuel starvation sounds about right, and I don't suppose it was when you were taking a right turn by chance? (sorry, i haven't seen the video yet).

Thanks for sharing your story though, nice to hear the comparison to your Bimmer.

Blurvfocus 12-12-2008 08:07 PM

Fuel starvation in right turns when the fuel level is low (like a quarter tank) is a sure sign of a fuel pump problem.

satakal 12-15-2008 09:12 AM

I felt a little out of place at the BMW autocross. But, at the PCA event... wow, fish out of water.

I don't know where to start. This was the PCA weekend where they invite thier members to bring out their non P cars. I took that as an opportunity to slip under the radar into their event and get some seat time. The course was rediculously tight in the uphill section. Also, we got a little bit of drizzle in second half of the day. That made it so that the focus would roll over on the outside front corner and just travel straight ignoring my steering input. Its a different challenge to pay attention to the grip level of the fronts and straighten the wheel when the tires are requesting it. Lots in driving is counter-intuitive. Front drive physics included.

Now, on Sunday, I took my car out. Instead of an autox they set up a DE. Basically an autocross but with continuous laps. It was all 2nd and 3rd gear stuff. At one point, I just stuck the 335 in 3rd and didn't shift untill I came off track 20 minutes later. I ended up driving 100 miles and a full tank of gas... in the Q parking lot. I love the focus. I love what it's teaching me. But, its not comparable to a well balanced, good brake, high torque, good traction, rear drive car.

satakal 12-15-2008 09:41 AM

don't blink at 1:30 and 3:30

YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.

Anyone watch the show 101 Cars You Must Drive? Ever heard of the Corvette C6RS? The red vette is car 7 of 7. Amazing car.

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