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-   -   First Autocross (In the Focus) (http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=156737)

GaryS 04-14-2008 07:11 PM

First Autocross (In the Focus)
 
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So I go into the garage early Sunday morning and decide that as cold as it is I won't put the race tires/wheels on the Miata (the car I've autocrossed for the last ten years) and just run on the 15" Falken Azenis that are my street tires since it's in the low 30's and spitting snow. I jump in and...it doesn't start.[:(!] Looking through the open garage door I see our 05 Focus ZX3 and have an epiphany. After a few minutes cleaning all of the wife's junk out of the back seat (why does she need three umbrellas and a raincoat) as well as the spare, jack and jack handle out on the hatch. I slap some of my magnets on it and it's off to the races. Now I have been autocrossing the same rear wheel drive car for ten years and even though I drive the Focus several times a week to work and such I have never driven a FWD car in Solo. The Focus has 16" Enkeis and Falken Ziex ZE-512 tires that are not a high performance tire. On top of that the chilly temperatures made most any tire rock hard and slippery. So, how was it? I had a blast. I finished second in STS out of four after slipping and sliding (who says you can't drift a fwd?) and burning out at every start. Now, if I could find some lightweight 17X7.5 wheels to put some real sticky "street tires" on I just might be doing this again. Any suggestions?

Oh, the new weapon:

Dudes ZX3 04-14-2008 07:27 PM

why 17"? Rota Slipstreams 15x7.5 = approx. 12lbs. You can get a set shipped from 18racing for $500. That's my dream. Although I've also been dreaming of a CSP miata-

GaryS 04-14-2008 08:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dudes ZX3 (Post 2080278)
why 17"? Rota Slipstreams 15x7.5 = approx. 12lbs. You can get a set shipped from 18racing for $500. That's my dream. Although I've also been dreaming of a CSP miata-

Hmmm, it's a thought. The Bridgestone RE-01Rs are cheaper in that size. Will a 15X7.5 Slipstream with a 45mm offset clear my brake rotors and front suspension or should I go with 40?

The trouble I run into with a Miata in CSP is that in order to be competitive I would have to spend a ton of money.

DirtyDeeds 04-14-2008 09:32 PM

Wheel weight vs. foot print. The Focus is a heavier car than say a Civic and needs a wider tire. The problem with running 15" and 16" wheels is that there aren't a lot of tire size choices in the newer competitive rubber that will give you any advantage over that Civic that's running the same size tire. The alternative is to move up to a 17" wheel where you can run a bigger tire than can be stuffed into the wheel well of a Civic.

You might consider trying the following...
Wheels:
17x7.5 Rota Slipstreams with a 45mm offset. These can be found at zxtuner.com for about $140 per wheel.

Tires:
Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec in a 215/40ZR17. These run $128 a piece at Tirerack. Just as much grip and heat resistance as the RE-01R's, but they have a stiffer sidewall and seem to do pretty well at full tread depth. The Dunlop's also tend to run wide on their sizing.

Throw on that Saleen suspension that Massive is selling for $500, some LCR street camber plates and kick some STS butt and still have a very livable daily driver.

Just my .02

GaryS 04-14-2008 10:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DirtyDeeds (Post 2080495)
Wheel weight vs. foot print. The Focus is a heavier car than say a Civic and needs a wider tire. The problem with running 15" and 16" wheels is that there aren't a lot of tire size choices in the newer competitive rubber that will give you any advantage over that Civic that's running the same size tire. The alternative is to move up to a 17" wheel where you can run a bigger tire than can be stuffed into the wheel well of a Civic.

You might consider trying the following...
Wheels:
17x7.5 Rota Slipstreams with a 45mm offset. These can be found at zxtuner.com for about $140 per wheel.

Tires:
Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec in a 215/40ZR17. These run $128 a piece at Tirerack. Just as much grip and heat resistance as the RE-01R's, but they have a stiffer sidewall and seem to do pretty well at full tread depth. The Dunlop's also tend to run wide on their sizing.

Throw on that Saleen suspension that Massive is selling for $500, some LCR street camber plates and kick some STS butt and still have a very livable daily driver.

Just my .02

And well worth it. But gee, I'm thinking of going cheap on the Focus. I think (that always gets me into trouble) that with the SVT suspension and the Pro-Thane rear sway bar bushings that I installed a month after I bought the car, it handles better than I can drive it. All it needs (again, IMHO) is better traction and the 17" wheels would give that to me. I try not to think about the money I have in my Miata with it's Konis, Ground Controls w/Eibach springs, Lenso 13X7.5 wheels and Kumho 215/50X13 tires, Racing Beat intake, Brospeed catback, big Addco front sway bar, Flyin Miata rear shock mounts and new 7" Torsen differential. With all that I am in no way competitive locally and would no longer dare to go to Nationals (I've been three times in the past).

Oh well, you've given me something to think about.

Auto-X-ZTS 04-15-2008 05:57 PM

X2 on the 215/40-17 Z1s. They measure over 8" wide on a 7.5 wheel...and give a slight gearing advantage over the OE diameter.

If you go w/ 15's...7.5 wheels and 225/45-15 Toyo R1R (fast, but short wearing)...

The biggest issue that I see with the Focus, is that it really needs (-) camber to get the most out of it--even the cheapie SPC camber adjusters help (but they chew up strut bearings).

GaryS 04-15-2008 07:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Auto-X-ZTS (Post 2081851)
X2 on the 215/40-17 Z1s. They measure over 8" wide on a 7.5 wheel...and give a slight gearing advantage over the OE diameter.

If you go w/ 15's...7.5 wheels and 225/45-15 Toyo R1R (fast, but short wearing)...

The biggest issue that I see with the Focus, is that it really needs (-) camber to get the most out of it--even the cheapie SPC camber adjusters help (but they chew up strut bearings).

Good tips, especially the camber kit information. Thanks a bunch.


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