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Levi
08-31-2006, 02:20 PM
News to me!

For Ford Focus owners, there’s now a place to race safely, legally — and fast.

Earlier this year, the Ford Racing Performance Group (FRPG) partnered with the National Auto Sports Association (NASA) to create the Ford Focus Spec racing class for the 2006 season. Regions hosting races are the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, Florida, Ohio-Indiana, Southeast, Midwest, Texas, Rocky Mountain, Arizona, northern California and southern California.

“The Focus Spec class is designed to showcase Focus performance parts and to provide an entry-level competitive racing environment that is affordable,” says FRPG Focus Program Manager Andy Slankard. “I was the program manager on the 2002 SVT Focus. Since our first prototypes on the program, the racers on our team always wished we could have 20 SVT Foci on the track at the same time. Now that can happen. Focus is very fun and forgiving to drive at the limit.”

The Focus won Car and Driver’s 10 Best award four years in a row because it has world-class dynamics, and its “fun to drive” factor is best in class, Slankard says. And with more than 2 million Focus sales in the United States, plenty of used Focus cars are ready for competing with Ford Racing Performance Parts.

The Ford Racing NASA Spec Focus class is open to all model years and trim levels of Ford Focus cars, including the SVT Focus and vehicles equipped with the 2.3-liter engine. The race series is designed to highlight the high-performance potential behind the Ford Focus platform, as Spec Focus racers typically modify the suspension, brakes, engine, tires and wheels with Ford Racing Performance Parts. The cost to get a conventional Focus ready to race typically ranges from $6,000 to $10,000. Parts allowances and restrictions equalize the field based on different model combinations.

Class payouts include $500 to each regional champion in all National Auto Sports Association regions with starting grids of three or more Spec Focus competitors. The class will pay $1,000 to the winner of the NASA Championships at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Sept. 17.