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Ford Offers Focus ST Fleet for High-Performance Driving Instruction

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author photo by Nick Palermo June 2012
  • Experience professional performance driving instruction and autocross hot laps during day-long events
  • Ford is bringing a fleet of 2013 Focus STs for participants to drive
  • Held in five cities: New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles

Ford is hosting one-day Focus ST Performance Academy events this summer. The automaker will offer participants in five cities the chance to autocross in the new high-performance five-door hatchback for free.

The 2013 Focus ST is scheduled to go on sale later this summer.

The Performance Academy will have professional driving instructors on hand to help drivers get the most out of the all-new Focus ST. The ST is a hot-hatch version of the Focus with a turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder that makes 252 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission, upgraded brakes and suspension, 19-inch wheels and a lower, stiffer chassis suggest, at least on paper, that the Focus ST is just the kind of light, nimble and powerful machine ideal for autocross.

What makes autocross so special? The course is typically a series of traffic cones winding through a parking lot. It appears to limit fast driving rather than to provide drivers with the space necessary to reach high speeds. And with cars running one at a time, autocross is not really racing.

Experiencing autocross reveals its charms, though. With a chirp of the tires and the wail of a high-revving engine, drivers push a vehicle's limits and hone their technical skills-handling, braking and gearchanges-in a safe and controlled environment. It could be argued that autocross makes better drivers. Plus, it's loads of fun.

According to Lisa Schoder, Ford Focus ST marketing manager, "the proof is in the pudding."

"We want ST fans, as well as drivers of competitive vehicles, to be able to taste this car firsthand," said Schoder. "What better way to do it than to bring the car to the people with the help of professional driver instruction on closed courses?"

Dates and locations are June 30 at Izod Center in New York City; July 14 at FedEx Field in Washington, D.C.; July 21 at Gillette Stadium in Boston; August 4 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco and August 11 at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles. To sign up for one of the first-registered, first-served events, visit DriveFocusST.com.

What it means to you: If you want professional instructors to teach you to run hot laps on a closed course, check out one of the five Focus ST Performance Academy events Ford is hosting this summer.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Ford Offers Focus ST Fleet for High-Performance Driving Instruction - Autotrader