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Thu., May 6, 2010, 11:38 a.m.

MotorSpaceNW crashes Ford Fiesta launch, San Francisco (3)

 

It was only a matter of time before I screwed this up. The Pro as he will now be referred to, expected me to act as his co-driver. In our TSD rally, the title came with three main responsibilities:

1. Give directions
2. Inform driver of required speed changes.
3. Record odometer/time readings

For a while everything was peachy. I called the turns as we pulled out of the parking lot and made our way to the freeway. The first exit brought us onto the long bends of a two-lane road in a hilly portion of country. 

With our speed set at 30mph the conversation picked up and I forgot to mention a speed change. 

The Pro was not happy. He cracked out his Iphone and calculated that to get back on pace we would have to drive at **mph in a **mph zone for the next 12 minutes. Making matters more interesting, we were set to enter a long stretch of road in the hills with very tight turns, many of which were banked. It was beginning to rain. From my Fiesta press pamphlet: 

“Ti-VCT (Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing) allows extremely precise, variable control of ‘valve overlap,’ or the window of time in which both the intake and exhaust valves in an engine are open at the same time. By adjusting overlap continuously, an engine can operate at optimum settings for peak fuel economy or power output as conditions demand.”

The Pro demanded peak power output and the Fiesta did not sound like an economy car capable of 40mpg on the freeway. For as hard as the The Pro pushed it, the Fiesta felt like it was made for it. We dove into turns pushing redline and the little engine couldn't have been happier. 

The Pro was impressed. He didn’t seem like someone who was very impressed with too many things. I was terrified. 

During the first handful of turns I was convinced the car wouldn’t be able to stay on the road. We were going to die. I reached for the “Oh s***” handle but couldn’t find one.

Critique. 

Making matters worse, I had hit the juice bar pretty hard back at the presentation and was in dire need of a potty break. It didn’t help having my thighs smashed into the passenger side door and center console repeatedly while fearing for my life. 

The Pro assured me we it was safe to drive the Fiesta in such a horrendous fashion as it was equipped with an advanced traction control of sorts that made it nearly idiot proof. This was good news as we were approaching the driver exchange at a roadside café. 

When we arrived smelling of hot brakes, several other Fiestas were already in the cafe parking lot. Older locals wanted to know what the hell was going on. I just wanted to know where the bathroom was. The Pro said I had time to keep my kidneys from exploding but to make it quick. 

It was glorious. I was refreshed and ready to take the wheel with the confidence that we were back on schedule.

Waiting in the passenger seat, The Pro informed me my personal time had put us behind by 13 minutes. I would have to drive ** in a ** for that amount of time to get us back on track. 

It was beginning to rain again. Did I remember how to drive a manual? 

Stay tuned.  

Fiesta Movement: http://www.fiestamovement2.com/seattle/team-profile/team-sea



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