FIESTA ST RACER
Rob Oldman, the man behind SCC Performance, is proving his company’s skills and talents at making Fords faster with this incredible Championship-winning 400bhp Fiesta ST race car…
Time Attack Champion has been revamped, now with 401bhp!
Bosses of tuning companies generally fall into two distinct categories: there are the ones who’ve identified a market in which people are keen to spend decent wedges of cash to make their cars go faster and/or look better, and the ones who have an ingrained passion for cars and have found a way to turn their hobby into their job. Thankfully we don’t bump into the cynical first lot all that often (although we could tell you some stories!), and the latter group tends to be the norm. And you’re unlikely to find someone more passionate and enthusiastic about his work than Rob Oldman. He’s the boss of SCC Performance, and this startlingly imposing Mk7 Fiesta ST Time Attack race car acts as a boisterous showcase of SCC’s abilities, while also giving him a handy excuse to thrash the life out of a car built to his own specs on a variety of race tracks. Not a bad old life, is it? SCC’s ethos has always been to walk the walk; they don’t pay mere lip service to the concept of honing and refining Fords – they know that if you want to retain a competitive advantage, you’ve got to go all-in, to work right at the coal-face. It’s why Rob was one of the first UK customers to take delivery
of the new Mk8 Fiesta ST this year, so that SCC could begin developing upgrades for it as soon as possible. And this was equally true when the Mk7 ST came out – as soon as the order books opened, Rob put his name down, and he took delivery of a Spirit Blue ST-2 back in 2013. Impressively, that car is this car, and it’s been on quite a developmental journey… in fact, regular readers may recall that it’s already been featured once in Fast Ford, back in 2014, although it’s safe to say that today’s spec is near-enough unrecognisable from how it was back then. The more Rob drives it on track, the more he finds ways to improve it. And as SCC’s aftermarket catalogue grows, so the ST symbiotically improves.
One of the first moves back in those early days was to drop the boxfresh Fiesta at Revo for a remap, something that Rob was able to enjoy several months before the general public got their hands on it, and with the software alone yielding 215bhp, the SCC team decided to set about fiddling with the hardware too – a Pro Alloy intercooler, a Milltek exhaust, the developmental and experimental upgrades were coming thick and fast, and before long it was running ST Suspensions coilovers, K-Sport brakes, Quaife ATB diff, and most noticeably that TGST wide-arch kit. When the Fiesta buzzed before our lens in late 2014 it was putting out around 275bhp – a tasty figure for a fastroad reworking of a then-new car.
Today, however, the game’s moved on quite a lot. “The Fiesta’s evolved,” Rob grins. “It’s faster, lighter – it’s gone from a road car for occasional track use to a full-on race car!”
He’s not kidding. The number plates
have gone, as has most of the interior, and Rob’s now campaigning the car in the Time Attack championship, which is a pretty robust demonstration of SCC’s skills. It’s currently the champion in the Pocket Rocket class, which is a bracket for sub-1750cc entrants – and given that the rules are pretty free and easy about radical engine modifications and competitors have free rein to go nuts, that’s no mean feat. “We’ve taken lots of race wins and lap records,” says Rob, justly proud of the team’s mighty achievements, “and the car gets amazing reactions too - it looks the business, and we’re able to prove what it can do on the race track and get results.”
The Fiesta’s running 401bhp in its current guise, thanks to some considered and carefully developed engine mods. “It’s maturing over time,” says Rob. “I built the engine with the help of my good friend Gary Hayward at AP Tuning. It’s still a relatively new car and there are always plenty of hurdles when you’re involved in motorsport and pushing the boundaries; if you find a weak link, you make it stronger!”
The 1.6-litre EcoBoost now benefits from forged pistons and rods, as well as Stage 2 cams to SCC’s own spec. The company’s proprietary ported head is in place too, along with a Revo induction kit, and a Pro Alloy breather kit – again to custom SCC spec. AP Tuning developed the turbo kit, which replaces the stock turbo with its cutdown blades of the car’s previous iteration, and puts in its place a Garrett GTX28, which works with a Pro Alloy competition-spec intercooler. Pro Alloy also supplied the radiator, and there’s a custom SCC-spec oil cooler with Pro Alloy ducting. The whole lot’s overseen by a smart SCS Delta ECU, which was mapped by AP Tuning to achieve that impressive 401bhp figure.
In the course of adding more power, one of those weak links Rob was talking about presented itself in the form of the transmission. The car used to run a stock ST gearbox mated to a Quaife ATB, and
while that is a fantastic setup for a 275bhp road car, if you’ve got a lairy race car it’s time to consider an upgrade. To achieve this, SCC have developed their own gearkit, and this is operating in tandem with a Cusco LSD to get those scrabbling ponies down through the front wheels.
Speaking of wheels, the chassis has enjoyed a comprehensive makeover too; Braid race wheels are super-light and super-strong, and coupled here with sticky Pirelli Trofeo R rubber, and the suspension upgrades of yore have been ousted in favour of a full race kit from KW, along with a thorough polybushing thanks to Powerflex’s Black Series range. The brakes are now fully track-ready and fade-free, being fat Alcons from Revo up front with Reyland two-piece discs on the back axle, and – as you’ve probably guessed from the vinyl-wrapped livery – Goodridge braided lines have their important part to play too.
The final piece of the puzzle is the thing vital to all true-blue race cars: weight loss. “The carbon fibre roof is one of my favourite parts of the build,” Rob grins. It’s definitely a good idea, as it doesn’t just lose weight from the shell, but it loses it from the point where you really don’t want to have excess mass – right at the top. So, the centre of gravity is lowered, and this effect is augmented by the fitment of the carbon bonnet, while the interior has been comprehensively stripped to leave only the things you need when you’re haring around Silverstone like your hair’s on fire. Rollcage, buckets and harnesses, a MoTeC dash to keep a clear and accurate eye on what’s going on with that aggressively tweaked motor, and of course that all-important pit-to-car radio, so the mechanics can yell ‘Box! Box! Box!’ when they spot that Rob’s been having so much fun in testing that his Trofeo Rs are delaminating.
This wide and colourful ST really does offer the best of both worlds for Rob. On the one hand, he gets to drive around really fast in a Ford that he’s modded to his own spec, which is something he’s enjoyed doing for decades. On the other, he gets to show the world just how skilled and talented the team at SCC are, and how effective their products are, by virtue of the fact that their demonstrator is a bona fide champion. Makes quite a statement, doesn’t it? After all, don’t they say actions speak louder than words…?
Competition-spec front-mount intercooler is massive!
Rob won the Pocket Rocket class of the Time Attack Series last year
Custom diffuser doesn’t just look cool, it’s all part of the car’s functional aero package
Braid wheels are super light and super strong, and super yellow!
The once fully-loaded interior is now stripped bare, with only the essentials left in place
Race cars are all about being light, so this ST’s had any excess weight chopped out