If you have been following our series in the transformation of our Fiesta ST from a street car to a race car, we have addressed a lot of the basics involved from getting excess weight within the rules out to building a solid cage, fuel system and safety systems.
In our prior driving of Project Fiesta ST on the track we noted that a lack of limited slip differential was a serious issue. The car wanted to spin its inside front wheel on corner exit but the electronic nannys, namely traction control, stability control and electronic torque vectoring would kick in.
With the stock power levels and tires, this would not be so bad but with stiffer suspension, much higher cornering speeds and more power, the electronics were overwhelmed and the car would do something like a terminal shuttering understeer, not conducive to fast lap times.
It takes balls to tear into a brand new car and turn it into a race car but that's exactly what the owner of our Project Fiesta did after just a short few thousand miles of street driving. First it was the track day bug and now the car will be campaigned in our MPTCC race series in the TU class!
Our Ford Fiesta ST's conversion to a full time track car at SPD Motorsports is moving along and we are almost ready to address the motor with a bunch of parts from mountune. The craftsmanship and attention to detail of SPD's Scott Dodgion is superb. What is also cool is Scott's ability to do great work within a reasonable budget. We are getting excited as our car is getting closer and closer toward it's track debut. It will probably be one of the first racing Fiesta ST's in the country. Check it out!
When we last left our Project Ford Fiesta ST it was being converted into a race car by the capable hands of SPD Motorsports. As progress continues, SPD is working on installing a crash resistant fuel system using components from Fuel Safe, Deatschwerks, and Aeromotive. Other details like Lexan windows, brake ducting and the interior are coming together as well.
Project Fiesta ST's owner started to really get the track day bug after we did our initial round of mods by installing suspension into the car. He then shocked us by telling us he wanted to take the car off the street and turn it into a full time track car and eventual race car. He suddenly gutted a lot of the car's interior out of it and wanted a cage.
We decided that if the car was going to become a race car we had better go all the way and do it right. We enlisted the help of Scott Dodgion of SPD Motorsports to help us with his expertise in building real nice competition cars.
When we last left off, our Project Focus ST had gotten a new set of coilovers from ST Suspension and a few other bits from mountune. Well, the owner of our car has just gotten the track day bug and decided to take the Fiesta ST off the street and build a race car out of it. The car has been getting converted to a real race car at SPD Motorsports and part of that conversion has been upgrading the brakes to bigger units from Gold Coast Automotive with some electronic help from Ford Racing.
So far we have improved the handling and shifting on our Project Ford Fiesta ST with some stuff from ST Suspension and mountune USA. We are very impressed with the base car. If you are into tuning FWD Sport Compacts you can really appreciate just how good this car is from the factory. If you have built Turbo Hondas or perhaps a Sentra SE-R we equate the Stock ST to one of those cars with a T28.
The car is a lot of turbo fun but with solid OEM reliability, great handling and OEM refinement. On the track the car has proven to be exceptionally reliable putting down lap after lap with not a single problem. No overheating, no fade, no unbalanced handling and most of all, the brakes are up to snuff for track abuse even stock!
Although the Fiesta ST has fairly decent stock shift feel, which is quite positive for a cable shifter FWD car, we still thought that the longish throws could be shortened for a more performance oriented shift feel. Traditionally we have never been fans of short shifters that the aftermarket is full off. Your typical short shifter shortens the throws too much destroying shift feel as well as sometimes overstressing syncros, to the point of damaging them.
With this in mind we were somewhat reluctant to install mountune's short shifter developed for the Fiesta ST. If you haven't heard of the name mountune, it's because in this country tuning of Ford's FWD offerings has not been the popular thing to do. Not so in Europe where compact Fords have been a mainstay of the enthusiast market for 3 generations. In Europe the name mountune is closely associated with Ford Performance and with the new Fiesta and Focus ST mountune will become a mainstay for Ford performance in North America.
If you love performance compact cars, then you should really be paying close attention and focusing your next purchase intent on The Ford Fiesta ST. The Fiesta ST is basically the same joint Ford, Mazda 2 platform that we loved so much as a B Spec racer. We felt the chassis handled well but was lacking power in gobs. Well Ford fixed the problem in a big way with the Fiesta ST by dropping in a turbocharged direct injection Ecoboost 1.6 liter engine with a six speed manual transaxle that delivers 197 hp and good mileage together in a package that leaves you grinning from ear to ear.