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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!

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  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.


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