Regular readers of Fast Ford may have seen my face pop up in various features and show reports over the last few years, and that’s because I’ve been lucky enough to have a few of my cars appear in my favourite Ford magazine over the last seven years or so. For those who don’t recognise me, I’ll briefly fill you in ­– basically, I’m a Blue Oval nut through and through, I’m Chairman of the Swindon RSOC, and I live and breathe fast Fords. Running my own garage has meant I’ve been able to build a few previous project cars (such as Cossie-powered S1 RS Turbo, and a 4×4 YB’d Escort van!) and now I’m just about to start another project…

I have a Zetec Turbo Mk2 Fiesta XR2 that I use for track days, and while it’s undoubtedly very fast, the old tech suspension setup does mean the handling lets it down slightly. So, I decided to build something else to take on track days and have some fun with. An Escort Cosworth? No. Another Fiesta! You see, I actually bought a turbocharged-Duratec JWRC-kitted Mk6 Fiesta with a view to building into a dedicated track machine, but the 300bhp RS motor actually felt a bit tame compared to the feisty and very light XR2. I looked into the options of increasing power – which involved a costly and quite complicated transmission swap ­– but a mate kept pestering me to sell it to him. Then I saw that Dave Jackson’s ex-Time Attack Escort Cosworth came up for sale at a sensible price, so my mind was made up!

 

The Escort was sold as a rolling shell, minus engine, gearbox, ECU and loom, and with no seats. But that didn’t matter to me one bit. In fact, I’d want to build a new engine for it myself so I know exactly what’s been done, plus I’d get a new ECU and have it mapped by someone I trust anyway. Plus, the shell already had loads of good bits already on it; stuff like Black Art Designs coil-overs, full weld-in rollcage, and various suspension and handling upgrade too.

The plan is to strip as much weight from the shell as possible and build up a 600bhp-plus YB motor for it – that, combined with the handling upgrades, should be enough to make a good-handling and pretty fast track car!

Keep an eye on the mag for future updates as I want the car back out ion track for the summer – work has already started, but you’ll have to wait until next issue to see what that is…