SCCA Autocross setup thread

Discussion in 'Fiesta ST Autocross' started by AlanBDahl, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. Des

    Des Active Member

    Update: Fiesta/Focus Fest at SFR SCCA event in Marina, Calif.

    Two Focus STs: One on 17-inch 255/40 Rivals, Konis, rear bar, relatively inexperienced driver; the other has a bar and 245/45/17 RS3s but no shocks.
    Two Fiesta STs: One on 225/45/16s; mine on 215/45/17s with Eibach rear bar.

    Course was not open enough for gearing to be an issue, so no answer on the 16/17s question.

    Fastest, by a bunch, was the Focus on RS3s, with a 40 flat by Mark Scroggs, who's one of the better Focus drivers in the country. I got it to a 40.4; Shelly Monfort -- who has more National jackets than fingers --- was a 40.6 or so. We all also drove my Fiesta; Mark again blew us away with a 40.5; Shelly got it to a 41 flat; I ran in cooler, misty weather and got to a 41.2. Drivers in the second Fiesta were a little back, but they came out of an SM Evo and have a few issues to work through. They will be fast, soon.

    I imagine Mark probably took top pax for the event (he raw-timed every Street class), but haven't seen results.

    The cars are so amazingly different. Everything in the Focus is sharper, but it oversteers not just midcorner but on entry, too. Shelly spun it once, almost spun another run, and I did the same.

    Takeaways on the Fiesta:
    • The narrowness of the car compared with the Focus is a huge advantage. Bigger than we had thought.
    • Even with the bar, the car does not oversteer in any way the Focus does. The bar helped, but not until I bled the rear tires way, way down (we finished at 42/31). We went as high as 48 in back but it didn't want to turn.
    • The FiST isn't nearly as crisp on turn-in or in transitions. I don't see how a 50 series tire would help in this regard. Even the 45s felt a tiny bit mushy.
    • We all agreed the 215 Dunlops were overwhelmed.
    Mark and Shelly both thought different tires -- and more tire -- would help immensely. And they both said the car was much less work than the Focus and close enough to be in the hunt nationally.

    So, nothing definitive, but we were all faster out of the box in the Focus.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
    Nik17 likes this.
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  3. wash

    wash Active Member

    That sounds like the 225-45r16 Direzza ZII is near the sweet spot (at least with 200 tread wear).

    Tell us more about the rear bar, what improvement did you see by lowering the rear tire pressure to 31?
  4. Couldahadav8

    Couldahadav8 Active Member

    I would not be surprised if the Focus is faster. Did the Ford Ecoboost Challenge thing, and the Focus was faster for everybody I saw drive. I am hoping that there is more time to be had when the Fiesta gets set up and we learn how to drive them.

    I am stuck in -5 temps this morning. Is this north Iowa or freaking Siberia? Just checked, Siberia is warmer right now (different time of day though). At any rate, I drive the Fiesta daily and in the snow. It is fun as hell in the snow. One of the things I have found is that if I turn without hitting the brakes at all (mind you in safe situations), the inside front brake grabs as soon as it feels I am out of the estimated line and the rear end gets loose until back on line. It is bizarre. My mustangs would just push all the way through the corner, or spin, off the road. I have done enough autocrossing to know that this applies probably to nothing in autocross except perhaps rainy situations and even then it is a stretch.

    God, I'm wordy. My question is whether anyone has tried driving essentially more recklessly to see if that helps get the rear to rotate? It might take a change in mindset to get away from slow in fast out. Maybe it will be more like controlled moderate in and fast out? Did you try driving with and without the nannies?

    Do you have a picture of the Eibach bar? I am thinking it might be possible to fabricate a bar that is adjustable without much work.


    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  5. Cligedy

    Cligedy Active Member

    If I pull 0.10" off, that should give me the same diameter as the 215/45/17s.

    Thank you for your updates and explanation of your events. It's really good to know how the development of this car is progressing.

    Our first event of the season was this weekend. GS was 2x Focus STs, 2x Fiesta STs, and 2x Celicas. I didn't talk to any of the Celica drivers, but I don't think any of the cars were prepped past tires. I took the class by 2.4 seconds, also posting the fastest Street time, 37th pax and 66th raw out of 192 drivers.

    The fastest Focus in class was ~3 seconds back. One of the local hot-shoes / national tour guys drove a Z2 shod Focus ST for seat time only, and was 0.2 seconds behind me.

    This was a big fast course with no really tight sections, so rotation wasn't an issue. I was in the first run group, with a dusty course and 40° temps. I am curious if I could have done a little better had I gotten to run in a later group. Overall though, a very good day for me.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
    RodMoe and spangenb like this.
  6. spangenb

    spangenb Active Member

    Thanks for all the great detailed info guys. Hopefully I don't get any rubbing with the 225 DZII and a lower car (BC coilovers). I am really starting to go stir crazy with all this autox talk!
  7. Des

    Des Active Member


    Plenty of pics on the web. An adjustable one would be great, but I think the stiff setting would have to be stiffer than the Eibach to make the car tail-happy enough for me. Other, smarter folks may wind up with a different opinion.
  8. Des

    Des Active Member

    Started at 46 in back; it was neutral. At 48, no better. Then dropped it to 31, got some mid-corner rotation that tucked the front end in nicely. It's possible that going UP to 50-52 would have worked as well, but I didn't have enough runs to try everything.

    I would like a bit more easily accessible lift-throttle oversteer for entry; I'll look at adding rear toe.
  9. Des

    Des Active Member

    Way to go!

    Great that you were hanging w/ the Foci. So much power and tire!
  10. Nik17

    Nik17 Member

    This was the most interesting take-away. Do you think the Rivals would perform better on the FiST on the stock wheels?
  11. limbo

    limbo Active Member

    So the car was still pretty neutral with the bar?

    Did it help at all with the inside wheel spin?
  12. Des

    Des Active Member

    Not much experience with the Rivals, but something a bit more heat tolerant would help. Big wheelspin early in the run fries the ZIIs for the following corners; the Focus on RS3s was pretty unaffected.

    Or I could just learn to control my right foot better.

    Limbo, there's your answer, too. I think the increased rotation encouraged more throttle on exit (lift, turn, floor it!); the tires weren't up to the task.

    Didn't you get the bar, too?
  13. limbo

    limbo Active Member

    I ordered the bar but it hasn't gotten here yet.

    I'm trying to gauge whether I should try it for the Dixie nat'l tour. I'm hesitant to try a new setup at my first national event.
  14. k757

    k757 Active Member

    Swing for the fences..... bar = yes
  15. Des

    Des Active Member

    The install is easy; the uninstall would be, too. And it's not so dramatic that the car gets silly. Not even close. Do it ...
  16. limbo

    limbo Active Member

    Great! That was my concern (the silliness).

    I figure worst case if I hate it I can just disconnect one of the endlinks between runs.
  17. Cligedy

    Cligedy Active Member

    Represent the hell out of the FiST for us. I've never been to a National event, but I'm tempted to go too. Not enough $ in my budget for a hotel room. :(
  18. k757

    k757 Active Member

    They are WAY different than a typical solo event. There you have to know two courses (mirrored) and do tree starts with hot laps. It's a blast. It's a must do at least once
  19. limbo

    limbo Active Member

    You're thinking of ProSolo
  20. limbo

    limbo Active Member

    Thanks! I will try. GS is looking like a pretty tough class so far.

    Hotels are pretty cheap near Dixie (if there are any left?). I'm told it's worth it, would be cool to see another FiST!
  21. Mightymango

    Mightymango Active Member

    What was the temps when your event was Des? I ask because I have a feeling that it is going to still be cold here when the first event of the year is going to happen. (40-45F)

    I was thinking of running slightly less pressure in the front with the cold then you where but my main auto-x car is a hoosier clad evo, the FiST is my "bad" weather car as well as street tire car as we have some really nasty surfaces at a couple events (the first event to be exact)

    I ordered a rear bar before I read your posts as I figured it might help with the understeer and thanks to the street rules you can actually run the one (which you already know)

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