Archive for category Racing

Thanks Furrin Group!

 

 

I wanted to say a quick thanks to everyone at the Furrin Group who put on the great autocross this past weekend at Grand Valley State University. The GVSU autocross is one of my favorite events, and looking at the turn-out, it is gaining in popularity. Exposing the new Ford Fiesta to such a great group of car enthusiasts was a lot of fun. I wish I would have had more time to give rides in the car, but I was fairly busy getting both cars ready to run on Sunday. Thanks as well to everyone who took pictures of the Fiesta and Mustang on track, and for sharing those outstanding pictures with me. An extra special thanks goes out to Curt for all of his work organizing the autocross events in west Michigan. Hopefully next year, I won’t be the only Fiesta competing in autocrosses in the United States!

 

Thanks again to everyone,

-Bryan

,

No Comments

Autocross Review

By Bryan Redeker

            Wow, I forgot how busy it is to run 2 cars at an autocross! The morning started off rough with 2 out of the 4 Hoosier R6’s losing a couple pounds of air pressure an hour, and the other two having a slightly slower leak. Putting them in the sun allowed them to heat up enough for the bead to seal and get us through the day. In the end, Brandon and I decided that it was best to put them on the Mustang and see how the car preformed. After each run I would check the pressures to make sure we did not have a sudden loss of pressure.

            After the drivers meeting, it was determined that the Fiesta would be running in the first heat. Brandon and I stage the car, double check air pressures, torque the wheels, and set the Sony Webbie to record from in-car. I would take the Fiesta out first for my 4 runs, and then turn it over to Brandon for his. My first run would be very slow as I tried to learn the somewhat complex course. With the rushed morning trying to figure out what to do with the Mustang, I did not get a good chance to really learn the course from walking it. Being in the first heat, I did not get a chance to watch others run. My first mistake on the run was forgetting to shift at the end of slalom. That may seem odd for me to say, but every car I have ever autocrossed has been equipped with a louder exhaust system. With my helmet on, I could not hear the engine, and could not tell I was near the rev limiter. I did not have shift light either, which is usually installed on my cars. A small oops, and an easy one to correct.

            The second run would end with a DNF as I missed a gate and hit a few cones with the passenger door, and would happen again with my third run. It was now up to my last run to get a good lap time. Not wanting to miss another gate and finish with another DNF, I took it a little slower. I was very confident in the car, just not in myself knowing the course. My last run went ok, but I knew it was not very quick. Two DNF’s in a row can quickly make you slow down to avoid getting another one! Overall, I was very happy with the Fiesta on course. In the hands of a better driver, this car will be very competitive in HS.

            The Fiesta was a lot of fun to drive on course, and in many regards, more fun than driving my Mustang. Every time the Mustang makes a strange sound, or has a slight vibration, I get paranoid something is wrong and start to lift. I started to think about the stresses on each of the parts on the sweepers, and then slow up some more. Did I torque that bolt? Hmm, better slow up some more. Soon, I am slowly going around the track and happy to be done. After having the front suspension break last year, I have become paranoid of driving it. Everything has been fixed, but it still takes time to regain confidence in the car. The Fiesta was confident as soon as the flag dropped! No strange noises, no funny vibrations, nothing to lead me to think anything was wrong. If I would have known the track better, I could have surely gone way faster! With a set of R-compounds, the Fiesta is going to bring some tough competition to HS.

            I would watch Brandon’s runs from the side of the track, and record them with a video camera for analysis. Brandon was clearly quicker, and did not get lost on track. The lap times proved that he was indeed faster than I was, but not able to bring the fight to the leaders. We only get a chance to run one, possibly two, events a year. That makes it hard to compete against drivers who are running multiple events all summer. We also have a car that we have never autocrossed before, and have no idea what it handles like. Knowing the spare parts are in Europe also slows you down, because neither of us wants to break anything. Overall, I was very happy with the performance of the Fiesta. I know there were many spots on track that I could have gone much faster, but I am happy for my first time running in over a year.

No Comments

Why Motorsports Matter

By Bryan Redeker

            With more news coming this week about the Fiesta being involved in motorsports, I thought it would be a good idea to express how much that means to the enthusiast community. Racing is where you learn the most about your product. Competition breeds your best engineering. Pushing the limit is when you find failures. What you learn from motorsports trickles down to the production car, and makes it better. Motorsports links the race car to the street car.

            There is something else about motorsports, and why it is important. Back in 2000-03, Ford ran the WRC Focus that closely resembled the ZX3 hatchback that was in my driveway. Watching a car that looks like your car engages you in the action, and makes you feel like you are part of the team. In America, NASCAR cars are so far removed from the production cars, nobody knows what they are. NASCAR is also more about the drivers and not the team nor the car. For sports car and rallye enthusiasts, the cars we watch on TV or see in the magazines look very much like the cars we drive and see on the street. For many of us, we enjoy knowing that what we drive is what others race. There is no connection there in NASCAR, as the cars are really a collection of tubes with some sheetmetal over the top and a sticker to make them either a Ford or a Toyota. Nobody buys a Fusion because it races in NASCAR, but people did buy Focuses because they ran in the WRC. Competing with the Fiesta will do the same.

            Motorsports also creates a name and an image for the product. Seeing a Fiesta going up Pikes Peak, or competing in the X-Games attaches a performance image to the car. That performance image is what car people want. Enthusiasts don’t want a “sport” sticker and some lick-n-stick ground effects to make it looks like a performance car, we want actual competition results. I would be lying if I have not thought about buying a WRX just because of the rally image and wins that comes with the car. I watch a Koni Challenge race, and I get excited about the S197 Mustangs. I go to an American Iron race and watch Jay Andrew’s 1986 Mustang win, and I want to make my Mustang more like his car. In October of 1999, my issue of Sport Compact Car came in the mail with the WRC Focus on the cover. Seeing that, I knew the Focus hatch was my kind of car. Knowing the Fiesta is going to be competing globally, makes me want the car even more. The connection between motorsports and the car I drive is very important, and I won’t buy a product that is not raced. For enthusiasts that connection is why we buy our cars. We want a little race car DNA in what we drive to work Monday thru Friday.

2 Comments

Website Layout

I am working a new layout, now that I got my laptop power cable. Check out www.brandonredeker.com for one that I am working on.

Brandon

No Comments

Florida

Bryan and I are down in Florida and just got back from being in the Everglades. The power cable to my laptop should be coming down tomorrow. Then we can do more updating on the website. If you have any questions send me an e-mail at brandon@brandonredeker.com.

Brandon
Racetech Performance

No Comments

Vacation

The team is heading to Florida today for a vacation. Work on the Mustang will resume once we are back.

Brandon

2 Comments