Behind the Scenes: Focus ST Performance Academy
Saturday afternoon proved to be quite an experience. We went behind the scenes of the Focus ST Performance Academy. The first leg of this adventure was the Academy portion of the day. While you mainly get the Rules of Engagement for the day, you also get some inside information from some of the racing professionals working with Ford for this event. Our instructor laid out the Academy course for us; telling us how to appropriately take the turns to get the most fun out of the Focus ST and the most fun out of the course. He explained how to drive straight through the corners while keeping your eye on the visual cues they laid out for the drivers on the course. There were a few people a little nervous about the possibility of roll over. But, he relegated their concerns by explaining the resilience of the 3 way stability control, which was definitely put to the test. For many Focus ST fans that came out to check out the execution of a vehicle, this was a day they had been waiting impatiently for quite a while. As we awaited our turn to get inside of this powerhouse, we overheard many of the drivers reactions to their 2 lap introduction to the vehicle. Some of them being, “That was too quick!,” “The seats are incredible!,” “The sound is amazing!”
We’d have to agree with all of these! As far as the quickness, the ST’s wealth of electronics allows both power and corners forces to the wheels to make best use of them. The seats were spectacular, the Recaro seat’s were incredibly snug and effective for support. And the sound, oh the sound!! The engine pulls with an intense force from low speeds to very high ones, uttering a deep, crisp note channelled towards the cabin via an under-bonnet “sound symposer” tuned to enhance the parts of the sound that best fufills a car enthusiast’s dream.
Class is over after your first two laps on the Academy course and you are sent over for your Performance experience of the day. Ford laid out a race course to best illustrate the capabilities of this machine. A few of us got behind the steering wheel and laid down some track. We also had one of our employees hop in with one of the professional drivers who set the record for the day at 26.7 seconds. We are pretty sure her heart is still beating at a rapid speed!
What a phenomenal day! We had a blast and wanted to give you a glimpse of what the Focus ST has to offer. Did any of you attend the Focus ST Performance Academy this weekend? If so, let us know what your first impressions were in the comments section below.