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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all.

I'm new to autocross racing (have only raced twice) and I'm racing in what I already own since buying another car isn't really an option. I own a 2013 Ford Focus Titanium and now that I'm getting comfortable and ready to move out of novice, I'd like some ideas on what upgrades I should start looking at. I'm mainly racing against myself and just trying to get better and better times until I can push my car no more.

That being said, I've started looking at tires (obviously) and am also looking at upgrading the intake, exhaust, and springs. The Ford dealership says I can go with Roush parts and those last 3 and with installation, they will charge me $1,500 and cover everything under my factory warranty.

Any other suggestions or ideas that I should also look into as this is going to be my next thing next to my other hobbies that I'm going to start going into debt on? I'd really like to hear some feedback. Thanks everyone.
 

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Intake and springs will put into STF which a very fun class to compete in. But you would be better served to go for H-Street which is a stock based class where you run Street Tires +200utqg, can have a catback exhaust, ONE swaybar (do the rear) and a high performance OE replacement air filter. The idea being with minor inexpensive modifications to the car, learn how to drive the car at speed and develop the driver before building the car for whatever you find out is your preferred setup. Autocross is more driver skill than machine build so get some top tier tires and get some seat time. The Focus is fun and competitive in H-Street and STF. If it is STF you decide to build for, check out JustinT's build thread, that car is going to win the SCCA Solo National Championships this year.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's some decent insight there. Thanks for the info. I'll take a look at JustinT's thread for even more info.

And you are certainly correct. Right now, I'm doing pretty well in my stock car and can tell that tires alone will drop me almost 2 seconds on my runs. But yes, I'm trying to get as much seat time as I can right now and I ride with instructors and more experienced drivers too. You can never have enough of that when starting out.
 

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Would definitely recommend doing the rear swaybar for autox. Especially on the mk3. STS focus has it right. Do the smallest mods you can get away with the stay in the stock class and have fun. Learn your car and become a better driver, then later on down the road consider adding some bigger ticket items that will push you into the higher classes.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That sounds cool to me. Next race is in September, so I'll report back as to what I was able to do and how that works out.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Guys, looks like I jumped that gun a bit. While I was at the dealership talking parts, I went out on a limb and took a look at the last ST they had on the lot. Well, after getting a deal that worked out in my favour, I went and picked up a Tuxedo Black ST w/35 miles on it today. So, looks like I'll be working on my driving skills a bit more before doing any upgrades any time soon.

Thanks for all the advice.
 

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for auto-x driver mods > car mods

good luck in the ST
 

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Congrats!

Now you can concentrate on driving & tuning is reduced to tire pressure adjustments (stock pressures don't work for auto-X as you've already learned).
 

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A friend picked one up earlier this year and it's SERIOUSLY fast, you made the right call.
 

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If I had the chance to go back to the stock class, I don't know if I would. Street Touring FWD (STF) is very fun. You DEFINITELY need dedicated racing tires for STF. I have done fairly well in STF over H Stock. Because of the mods to the car and tires etc... BUT if theres one thing I learned from being in the stock class is, driver mods > car mods. I went to my local Novice school and had plenty of people help me at the track. Invest in yourself FIRST. The car mods can come later.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If I had the chance to go back to the stock class, I don't know if I would. Street Touring FWD (STF) is very fun. You DEFINITELY need dedicated racing tires for STF. I have done fairly well in STF over H Stock. Because of the mods to the car and tires etc... BUT if theres one thing I learned from being in the stock class is, driver mods > car mods. I went to my local Novice school and had plenty of people help me at the track. Invest in yourself FIRST. The car mods can come later.
You are oh so right. I'm going to a driving school on November 8th. I also got voted in as a member of Martin Sports Car Club here in Orlando. I'm investing in myself over the next few months first and if anything, I might do an air intake. I think if I do a drop in filter, I can still run STF.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
A friend picked one up earlier this year and it's SERIOUSLY fast, you made the right call.
I'm so proud of this car for many reasons. American made, the way the end slides out on the curve to help you rotate the car, the satisfying feeling of acceleration off the line, and I must just be the right size because the way these seats hold me in place, I feel like a swaddled baby. I seriously enjoy this vehicle and should have picked it up the first time around over the Focus Ti.
 

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That's awesome that you love your car. Stay stock for a while, learn to drive on street tires (they don't mask bad driving). I would do a drop in filter. You'll see larger gains in performance :).
 

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I would say do a full season with the car as is. I did a full season with a GLI before I bought my SE. I only did a few events with the SE and I can say I still wasn't to the limits of the car, and it was completely stock.

Once you're used to it, a rear bar and tires are probably the biggest upgrades you can do and stay in HS.
 

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Reviving the dead..... braaaaains!

That said, I do need a second set of wheels and tires to autox in. Stp and nitto neo gens suck. Oh well, its just money.
 

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FF PHOTOG ENTHUSIAST
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If you are looking for tires ... I recommend the Dunlop Direzza Star Spec ZIIs or Hankook RS3 Version 2

Ray
 
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