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…

Fast Ford - - Contents - Words DAN BE­VIS / Pho­tos JON HILL

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!

Photo: Jonathan Moore/ Time At­tack

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

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