Ford hopeful of Fiesta prospects
- 4th December 2006, 1:38pm
Speaking to RallySport Magazine after he and lead driver Michael Guest had spent a day at the team’s workshop in Melbourne, Windus said he was very impressed with the team’s plans and the progress that has already been made.
“Time is very short but the team’s aim is to have both cars up and running before the first round of next year’s Australian Rally Championship (the Coates Rally Queensland) in March,” he said.
“It’s a big ask but the team behind the project are very motivated and keen to meet the deadline. They’re already a long way down the track in building the cars and with the facilities that they have at their Dandenong factory, it won’t be an impossible job.”
So far the Britek team have started work on building the first Fiesta, the car that came from Astra Rallying in Italy and which was in Super 1600 trim. Over the next few months it will be transformed into Super 2000 configuration which involves fitting not only a 2-litre normally-aspirated (non turbo) engine, but a full 4WD transmission.
This car was most likely originally built in Malcolm Wilson’s M-Sport workshop in the UK before being sold to Astra.
“A lot of work had already been done before we got the car,” Windus said, “so that will save a lot of time and fabrication.”
Windus assumes that the first car completed will be driven by teammate Michael Guest but believes that the second car will be completed shortly after.
“The completion date for both cars is mid-February and we plan to do some testing shortly after that,” he added. A third car, which will be used as a demonstration vehicle or pressed into service if one of the other cars is damaged, is also under construction.
Work on the Fiesta’s engines will be one area that Britek will not become involved in. Engines are currently being built in the UK by the well-respected engine builders, Mountune, who also supply engines to M-Sport for the World Championship Ford Focuses. Once built, the engines will be dynode by Mountune and shipped off to Australia for installation in the cars.
Quizzed about the difficulty of shoe-horning the engine and transmission into the Fiesta’s limited confines, Windus said that the task would be made easier because the cars adopted the unique horizontal radiator position above the engine that is a feature of the WRC Focus. Cool air is fed into the engine via a carbon air box which is positioned to allow more clearance for the 2-litre engine.
“I’m really looking forward to being part of the new team. I reckon we can do really well in the Championship – my role is to get results and support Michael,” Windus added.
His contract with Britek is for two years with a further two year option, based on results.
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