WILL I BREAK MY CAR?

Justin Partridge, via email

LOVE THE magazine, canít wait for the new issue to come out each month. I have recently purchased a new Ford Fiesta ST (my first performance car) and am interested in doing a track day. My question is: Am I going to break it? I understand that brake pads, tyres, etc, will wear quicker which I am happy to replace but a friend informed me his XR6 Turbo ute was never the same after spending the day at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Your advice would be greatly appreciated.

Simple answer is no, youíre not going to break it. If you limit your runs to a couple of laps at a time a Fiesta ST should have no problem at all with a day on the track.

The XR6 Turbo is under-braked for its power and speed; they really donít like track work (tell your mate that standardsized but higher-quality aftermarket brake rotors improve things) whereas the light Fiesta ST is much easier on its gear.

If itís your first performance car though, definitely keep ESC on for probably the first half-day at least as SMSP is a fast track and the Fiesta ST can be a bit of a handful Ė you donít want to be trying to catch high-speed oversteer on your first day out! Keep mechanical sympathy in mind and youíll end up spending your money on more track days rather than consumables.