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Back to school: Ford gives out free Focus RS driver training

31 August, 2016

We’ve all seen the videos of people running out of talent in their brand-new Focus RS, and we’ve all seen the media hype around how Ford irresponsibly produced a vehicle with a ‘drift’ button. Ford has responded to the flurry of mixed reports and media hype with its own solution: driver training. 

Dubbed the RS Adrenaline Academy, Ford USA is now running the driver training at Miller Motorsports Park, in Utah. It’s a free course, and owners of the latest RS are able to attend a small classroom briefing, then they’re out on the track learning about each individual mode the RS now has — especially the drift mode. 

With the courses now being held in America, we’re hoping they’ll make their way down to New Zealand. If the drivers in America are having issues sliding off the road, it’s likely to happen here too. 

Saltwater Creek Garage

After passing by this building for many years, I decided to call in and ask the owner about his garage and the car that had been parked there. It was a 1982 Hyundai Pony 1200 TLS that he’d inherited from his mother who had bought it when it was nearly new. I was fortunate enough to buy it from him — many had approached him over the years but were turned away. After sitting out there for that long you could not imagine how dirty it was. At least it had never been wet in all that time. The interior is a mid-blue and almost like new — in fact his mother, Irene, had still retained the original factory-fitted thick clear-plastic cover over the mid-blue vinyl door panels.

Lunch with … Roger Bailey

Roger’s story is a classic illustration of what hard work, honesty to the point of brutal frankness, a ‘can-do’ approach, and a racer’s brain can get you in this sport of car racing. Roger, or ‘Boost’ as he’s known up and down the pitlanes of America, was who Kenny Smith turned to when he was dragging a reluctant teenager around the different pit garages at Laguna Seca.
“Scott [Dixon] kept complaining that it was too hot and he just wanted to go back to the hotel pool. I had to tell him that I was trying to secure his future — we weren’t getting much of a look in until we saw Roger who knew everyone and set about introducing Scott as New Zealand’s next big thing.