Skip to main content

The Rams Eye is going Rallycross

Focus RS at Conrad Bros Ltd. for the Jan 2018 BAC Rallycross - Kevin Doubleday ©

It’s official: The Ram’s Eye is going rallycross this season!  I've been wanting to go rallycross ever since I learned about local events just a couple of years after I started high performance driving. Unfortunately, buying a car to go rallycross just wasn't in the books so I had been waiting and watching from the sidelines. But the moment has come and a fix for track withdrawals during the off-season is finally in order. No, it won't be a Focus RS (unfortunately). It's not even an AWD car. My budget was very limited. Without a truck and a trailer, the car also had to be road worthy (or could cheaply be made road legal). No AWD car fit road worthiness criteria and the budget so it didn't happen.

But there were other must-have criteria aside from road worthiness. The car had to be a manual (of course) and it had to either have a limited slip diff from the factory or tried-and-true aftermarket options. After a few weeks of searching, looking around, and talking to people, I finally found the one (almost sounds romantic, doesn't it?). It's a 2007 VW Rabbit/Golf, 2 door or 3 door hatch as a lot of people call them. It has the 2.5 litre 5 cylinder engine, one of my favourite VW engines by far. It has basically no options aside from alloy wheels, which is great; less to go wrong and less weight. Car and Driver tested 2008 2 door model (170 hp vs 150 hp like mine...) like this, but it was automatic and it had a couple of options. That one weight 2,940 lb. I figure this one is probably in the low 2,900 lb. range and I'd like to think it may even be very high in the 2,8xx lb. range.

I'm going to run the car completely stock for a few events to benchmark it but do of course have a few mods planned. Aside from tires and brakes, I'm planning to do some weight-saving mods for starters. I heard that aluminum control arms and knuckles from a Passat save some weight. I'm sure the rear seats and perhaps passenger seat might find themselves tucked in my garage somewhere and I'll probably end up getting a nice bucket driver seat. I'm also planning to get an exhaust, because how could you have a 5 cylinder car without uncorking it a bit? I'm hoping that between all the above fairly simple weight saving mods, I'm going to get the car down in the low 2,800 lb. range, maybe even crack into the 2,7xx lb. range if I'm lucky.

Other mods that are bound to end up on the car are a limited slip diff like I mentioned, camber plates, anti-roll bars, but will likely keep the stock springs and dampers stock for a while. I'm also hoping to do something about the power but that will be down the road after the more crucial stuff. I'd like to save the limited slip diff until after track season starts in May because that would a nice comparison to do on track before/after the diff. Oh, yes, I'm sure this car will end up on track. The car is classed very low under our Time Attack classification rules (which follow the Ontario car classification rules) so I think it will be a competitive Time Attack car after being adjusted for class.

But I'm getting ahead of myself here. First rallycross for me, this car, and this season is tomorrow! I can't wait. Make sure to follow for updates on the car and results from the first day!

Follow Ram's Eye The Track Guy on Facebook and Instagram!


  1. I ask drivers all the time at track - "have you tried Rallycross?" I feel anyone that drives on track, and wants an advantage over other drivers, especially in foul conditions should try Rallycross for a season. The skills learned running in loose traction conditions at speed transfer to the track perfectly, and they are skills that can't be mastered any other way.

    1. I couldn't agree more! I wish I had managed to start earlier. I can already tell how much better I will be for it.


Post a Comment

Does An Aftermarket Grille Really Increase Airflow?
I put a Saleen S281 grille to the test to answer that question.

Stock Suspension S197 Mustang With Square 305/30/19's
What you need to fit a proper size square tire setup.

How Limited Slip Diffs Make You Faster on Track
What you need to know about how they put power down and pros and cons.

Can Telemetry Explain Schumacher's Talent?
A comparison between Schumacher's and then team mate Herbert's data.

Cayman GT4 Track Review
The first Cayman with proper (911-challenging) power.

Is an EcoBoost Mustang any good on Track?
Two days at the track in a Mustang short 4 cylinders.

2016 BMW M4 DCT Track Review
It's quick (properly quick). But is it fun?

Can a stock Golf Diesel handle a Track Day?
Not your every day track beater.

🔥 Most Visited This Week

Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2's vs Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R's

I never thought I'd ever run Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2's on my 2012 Boss 302. The cost is astronomical and they are supposed to last the least of anything comparable. So how did I end up with (nearly) fresh Sport Cup 2's? A complete fluke. I came across a lightly used set with only a few hundred miles and no track time; 305/30/19 takeoffs from a GT Performance Pack Level 2 (GT PPL2). I knew my 71R's were getting very worn before the season started and likely wouldn't last the whole season, even this short one. The price was far better than a new set of RE-71R's, a little more than half, and local Time Attack rules (Canadian Automobile Sport Clubs) recently made 180 and 200 TW tires equivalent, meaning no PAX or PIP point penalty for going with 180 TW tire like the Pilot Sport Cup 2's. I have been very curious about how PSC2's compare to RE 71R's but I stayed away due to their being painfully expensive and, up to last year, their 180 TW rating would

GTR vs Evo X vs STI: which has the best AWD system?

A few weeks ago, I made a post explaining  mainstream AWD system types and how they compare , pros and cons, etc. including some simple diagrams to show where the power goes and how much. As promised, this post will focus on specific cars and what AWD systems they use, especially ones that that have more or less been defined by their AWD systems, and the best place to start may be with a bombshell; the Nissan GT-R. Nissan GT-R (R35) The GT-R has built a reputation around having monster traction and very approachable performance, thanks to its AWD system - Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All-Terrain (ATTESA) - and what it can do for you. But the GT-R doesn't actually use the most mechanically sophisticated type of AWD systems discussed in the previous article, namely a "true" AWD with a centre differential. Instead, it uses a clutch pack to transfer power. RWD-based clutch-type AWD schematic - Rams Eye The Track Guy © The R32, R33, and R34 Sky

How would a Mustang 3.5L EcoBoost compare to the 5.0L V8?

Ever wonder how a 3.5 litre EcoBoost might fair against the 5.0 litre V8 in the Mustang? Of course you have. Ever since Ford dropped it in the F150 (and perhaps well before), everyone has been wondering how it would perform. There are basically two camps; those who think it would be awesome because of tuneability and power potential and those who think it means the death of the V8 in the Mustang. If you are in the latter group, we seem to be good so far with continuous upgrades to the 5.0 litre Coyote and the brand new Shelby GT500 which still uses a supercharged V8 as it has been for over a decade and multiple iterations. But what if... Well, it seems we are closer than ever to finding out the answer to that question. American Trucks recently got together two crew cab, short box, 4x4 F150's but one has the 5.0 litre V8 and the other has the 3.5 litre EcoBoost V6. There has been a few comparisons between 5.0 litre and 3.5 litre EB F150's, but this seems to be the most di

Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R Track Review

2012 Boss 302 on square 305/30/19 RE-71R's at AMP - Graham MacNeil © For better or for worse, I have heard and read so much about RE-71R's. Everyone swears by the grip but complains about the wear. Generally speaking, the pros are: 1. They grip as well or better than most R comps. 2. They don't wear as quickly as R comps if driven occasionally on the street. 3. They work better in the rain than R comps. The cons were limited to overheating quickly when used on track (being an autocross tire) and wearing too fast on heavy cars like mine. In the popular 200 TW category, they are faster than the popular Hankook RS-4's and BFGoodrich Rival S's according to published Tire Rack Tests. According to plenty of reviews, they are also faster than well established R comps like R888R's (which don't seem to work too well on heavy cars anyway) and the venerable NT01's. But I was still hesitant for a while until I talked to a tire tech support gentleman