October 6, 2022

Fusing hardcore track-day efficiency with show-car high quality, Jazmin Harrington’s modified Ford Focus RS Mk1 actually hits the spot.

Function from Quick Ford. Phrases: Jamie King. Pictures: Jason Dodd.

Like so many people Blue Oval lovers, Jazmin Harrington can hint her love for all issues Ford again to her dad and mom; on this case a youth spent (principally sideways) as a passenger in her dad’s Sapphire Cosworth.

With such smoky, smile-inducing recollections etched into her head, it was solely pure that Jaz would flip to the great Ford when she turned 17 and was in a position to supply a automobile of her personal.

She remembers, “My first automobile was Ka – a far cry from Dad’s Cossie, however my ardour for Ford began after I was younger, so I used to be all the time going to have a Ford.”

Over time, vehicles have come and gone, however that fondness for a Blue Oval by no means went. If something, it solely grew stronger. And earlier than lengthy, the time was proper to discover a quick Ford that Jaz may use to essentially categorical her ardour for the model.

However what would match the invoice? A Sapphire Cossie like her dad had again within the day? Nah. Too previous and precious (and fragile) to make use of in anger often – most are saved for a handful of reveals per 12 months, if that, lately.

What a few new Fiesta or Focus ST? Nope. They lack the Rallye Sport heritage Jaz was after.

Then the reply drove previous – actually – after which parked on next-door’s driveway.

“Yeah, this automobile truly belonged to my subsequent door neighbour,” laughs Jaz. The Ford Focus RS Mk1 began to make a variety of sense; it’s trendy sufficient to make use of at any time when she needs, and is equally as succesful coming out to the outlets through the center of the week as it’s wanting fabulous on the stands at weekend reveals and occasions. It has all of the Rallye Sport pedigree (arguably the primary of the brand new breed of RS fashions) and, most significantly, it has baggage of efficiency potential too.

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Modified Ford Focus RS Mk1

Jaz lastly received the keys to her preferrred RS final 12 months, and since then hasn’t wasted any time in placing her personal stamp on issues.

“The automobile was largely customary with solely a handful of small mods, however the bodywork was excellent,” Jaz says.

Proving to be the right clean canvas for her imaginative and prescient of the perfect fast-road RS, Jaz spent the following few months towing the Focus (in her Ranger – in fact it needed to be a Ford) everywhere in the nation, visiting varied specialists. Now, we usually see a well-recognized sample right here: enhance energy – break one thing – uprate it – enhance energy some extra – break one thing else… And so the cycle repeats.

Modified Ford Focus RS Mk1

That’s the everyday manner these tales unfold, however Jaz took a way more methodical and wise method. She explains, “The automobile had coated 68,000 miles, and I knew I needed round 400bhp, so the very first thing I did was take the automobile for an engine rebuild utilizing solid components. I needed peace of thoughts of that I used to be going to have an excellent, robust engine.”

Dave Hill (who builds race engines at Mountune) was charged with the job of assembling all of the upgraded {hardware}, which features a set of Wossner solid pistons and rods, heavy-duty bearings, ARP fixings, a gas-flowed cylinder head, and vernier cam pulleys, amongst different bits.

With the brand new engine in place, the following cease was to see Leighton and Paul at Sabre Tuning in Wiltshire. Primarily based subsequent to Fort Combe racetrack, these guys have constructed a popularity as go-to tuners in relation to mapping big-power Focus RSs. Right now, the corporate is getting properly and really caught in to 3rd era Focus RS tuning, but it surely was their work with the Mk1 RS that first caught the eye of Ford followers.

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With the transient of ‘I would like 400bhp’ ringing of their ears, Leighton and Paul set about putting in considered one of their Stage 4 upgrades. Comprising a 400RS turbo improve, ceramic-coated Milltek four-branch exhaust manifold, a set of bigger 630cc injectors, an enormous MAF improve and Sabre’s Stage 4 mapping, the Focus was now producing a strong 400bhp.

Modified Ford Focus RS Mk1

To guarantee that it continues to take action, regardless of how exhausting Jaz pushes issues (whether or not that’s on the highway and even on monitor, which is one thing she’s eager to discover), the following port of name for the Focus was Spec-R for a full suite of alloy upgrades.

First on the agenda was a good measurement and spec front-mounted intercooler – at 400bhp issues get very popular, in a short time, so to cease the ECU being a party-pooper and pulling the facility again (admittedly to save lots of the engine from any critical harm), Jaz commissioned Pete at Spec-R to construct and set up one of many monster intercooler upgrades.

Now it doesn’t matter how exhausting Jaz abuses the RS, the cost air temperatures will stay secure and be sure that the Sabre software program can proceed ship the total quota of 400-plus horses.

So impressed by the standard of Pete’s work, Jaz requested Spec-R so as to add a bunch of different alloy goodies: a header tank with sight glass, energy steering reservoir tank, oil breather separator, brake fluid reservoir, battery cradle and cam cowl centre plate have been all fitted earlier than the RS left Wiltshire and headed again to Essex.

Alongside the best way, and in between journeys everywhere in the nation, the RS has additionally seen its inventory suspension binned in favour of some BC Racing coilovers, and the usual wheels have been swapped for a set of menacing Rota D154 alloys – which, in contrasting gunmetal gray, swimsuit the Imperial Blue bodywork completely. The edges are wrapped in slightly-wider-than-usual 245/40-profile Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, which give a small indication for Jaz’s meant subsequent steps with this modified Ford Focus RS Mk1.

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Modified Ford Focus RS Mk1

She says, “I’ve already performed a couple of reveals with the automobile, and it’s been very properly obtained, however I’ve fitted the Cup 2 tyres as I’m trying to do a monitor day very quickly. I ordered them barely outsized to present the automobile a wider look.”

If it goes in addition to it seems, we’re certain Jaz could have enjoyable on monitor. Come to consider it, nevertheless Jaz decides to make use of the automobile, it would rise to the duty: it has sufficient energy and efficiency however with out compromising on reliability or practicality; it has sufficient model and highway presence to impress and wow crowds at reveals and occasions; and it presents the right mixture of type and performance. It truly is the RS candy spot.

Tech Spec: Modified Ford Focus RS Mk1

Engine:

1988cc turbocharged Zetec DOHC (badged as Duratec RS), Sabre 400RS turbo, Milltek four-branch exhaust manifold completed in pink Zircotec coating, Wossner solid pistons and solid conrods, heavy-duty bearings, ARP head bolts and important cap bolts, multi-layer head gasket, gas-flowed cylinder head, authentic RS camshafts with vernier adjustable cam pulleys, 630cc injectors, uprated gasoline pump, Roose Motorsport silicone hoses, bigger MAF sensor, Spec-R intercooler and massive enhance pipe equipment, Spec-R header tank, Spec-R energy steering tank, Spec-R brake fluid reservoir, Spec-R oil breather system, Spec-R battery cradle, Spec-R cam cowl centre plate, Aeroquip braided hoses, Cobra Sport 3in exhaust system, Vibra-Technics engine mount, Sabre Stage 4 remap

Transmission:

Authentic Focus RS MTX75 gearbox with factory-fit Quaife ATB diff, Sachs heavy-duty natural clutch

Suspension:

BC Racing BR Sequence coilovers all spherical

Brakes:

Entrance: authentic Focus RS Brembo four-pot callipers and 324mm ventilated discs; rear: strong 280mm discs (all refurbished)

Wheels & tyres:

8.5x18in Rota D154 alloys in gunmetal, 4×108 PCD, ET35, with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 245/40×18 tyres

Exterior:

Authentic Focus RS, entrance splitter

Inside:

Authentic Focus RS inside trim