Ford put the handbrake on S2000 Fiestas
The Pirtek Rally Team has confirmed two major technical upgrades for the third round of the NEC Australian Rally Championship, the Rally of Canberra on June 1-3.
The Super 2000 Ford Fiestas of Michael Guest and Darren Windus will feature front and rear anti-roll bars, as well as a fully operable handbrake system. The addition of these systems follows extensive on-event evaluation of the base package by the Pirtek Rally Team. The twin Fiestas took fourth and fifth place outright at the recent Quit Forest Rally in Western Australia.
Extensive design and construction work on the anti-roll bars has been carried out by renowned suspension specialist Drummond Motor Sport along with head technicians Paul Cane and Grant Howse.
"With just about every aspect of the car being brand new, we have had to confirm that we are heading in the right direction," said Paul Cane.
"Although we are still in a development phase of the program we can now work towards improving the stage times.
"The addition of the anti-roll bars and handbrake system will go a long way towards achieving that."
Cane and Howse along with the #4 Fiesta of Michael Guest recently spent two days with Jamie Drummond at the Wodonga base of Drummond Motor Sport.
"We felt the best way to further improve the suspension was to go to Jamie’s and go over the entire package," said Howse.
"This trip was very successful with us returning with the anti-roll bar package as well as a much better understanding of the suspension system we are running.
"Jamie has designed and built a package for the Fiesta, not simply taken one off the shelf. This will prove to be of major benefit heading forward."
The specialised handbrake system has been developed by Britek Rallye Sport with the full consultation of transmission supplier Sadev in France. Chief Engineer Glenn Rees has been overseeing this side of the development.
"Having a handbrake in rallying is critical in getting the cars around tight hairpin styled corners," said Rees.
"The system has to disengage the rear-drive as well lock the wheels. It requires a pump that supplies enormous pressure to make this all happen.
"Now that we have a much better understanding of the car, we can now install this system and be confident of its reliability.
"Like the anti-roll bars, the addition of the handbrake will improve the car’s performance, but we will continue to work across all aspects of the Fiesta to further improve the overall speed."
The Pirtek Rally Team will test the improved Ford Fiestas on Tuesday 29 May outside of Canberra.