The Team O’Neill Rally School is offering a two-day rally driving course that will train drivers to make the most of the Focus RS’ all-wheel-drive talents.
With a rich performance history, the RS moniker isn’t taken lightly. Likewise, the Focus has a long history in the rally competition. As such, it should be no surprise that the Team O’Neill Rally School is offering a two-day course utilizing Ford’s hottest hatch.
“In 2009 Ford conducted the Fiesta Movement promotion, at the same time Team O’Neil was looking for a new, front-wheel-drive introductory platform for students. Ford needed to find a unique use for the fleet of cars due to the fact that they were European imported cars that could not be registered/titled,” company namesake, Tim O’Neill, explained. “We were thrilled to have the opportunity to use these cars due to how successful that car had been rallying overseas and their potential as a training tool.”
That relationship has grown into a two-day course that will have students beginning in front-wheel-drive Fiestas before moving up to the potent Focus RS. Once in the RS, drivers will work up from the skid pad to the loose surfaces of a rally course to maximize their skills and learn the true potential of this vehicle.
Rally School Curriculum
• Manual transmission training or refresher if necessary
• Left-foot braking.
• How to induce and correct for the five types of skids
• Weight transfer
• Lines and apexes
• Threshold braking
• Braking in turns
• Trail braking
• Eye placement and reading the terrain
• Fast, medium, and slow speed corners
• Driving at speed in diverse conditions
• Dynamic side-to-side as well as front-to-rear weight transfer
• Pendulum turns (Scandinavian Flick).
• Front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive vehicles.
• Decreasing- and increasing-radius corners
“The Focus RS is a great platform here at the rally school because it really lets us show people the upper limits of rally racing, and get students behind the wheel to experience that for themselves. We can get drivers to experience the feel of a top-level rally car, work on advanced skills, and do it really reliably and efficiently as compared to building very expensive exotic racing vehicles,” he explained. “The RS’ passionate following is a plus, along with torque vectoring. Those things said, for safety reasons we need to really build students basic skills before they drive a car with that kind of potential.”
To make the most of a car like the Focus RS, the rally school will work on building up the abilities of its student drivers. This will include moving from basic techniques to more advanced driving skills.
For $2,400, students will get two days of training, working up from a two-wheel-drive Fiesta to Ford Performance’s hottest hatch.
They will leave with a full appreciation of what their cars are capable of — whether they’re on the street or the track… — Tim O’Neill, Team O’Neill
“Students will learn basic eye placement and steering techniques as well as safely (and properly) taking advantage of the Drift mode, as well as the ability to try these different modes in a safe and controlled environment,” Tim said. “They will realize their own strengths and limitations, as well as learning the limitations, and how to maximize the capabilities of ABS braking in loose-surface conditions. They will leave with a full appreciation of what their cars are capable of — whether they’re on the street or the track — they’ll have the skills and instincts to handle whatever comes their way confidently.”
If this school sounds as fun to you as it does for us, the first classes will take place from May 6-7 at the Team O’Neill facility in Dalton, New Hampshire. You can get all the details about the Focus RS classes on the official site right here.