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Cars and Car Conversions - Group Test: Win Percy Fiesta Race Car
"Housewives Choice"
January 1982
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Group Test: Win Percy Fiesta Race Car




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.....of which imparts far more of a feeling of being a proper race car.

"The Renault feels most like a roadgoing vehicle. It lacks considerably in performance, which is what you'd expect, so it takes a long time to wind it up. Having wound it up, though, you then find the brakes are very good - far more positive than the Fiesta's."

What of the famous Renault roll, for even though Terry's car didn't lean nearly as much as some of its opposition, it still tended to heel over in the corners?

Win grimaced: "Yes, well, you do get that funny feeling with Renaults, but once you've got the body weight thrown to one side and the car bottoms out on its suspension, then you can really have ago. During the transition from one side to the other, it does feel a bit funny, but once you've taken the car to its limit, you can be quite quick. It's an amazing little thing really."

These comments were echoed by David Grimshaw, whom we got to exchange cars with Terry Blamire after Win had been out in them: "Compared with the Fiesta, initially it seemed to wobble all over the place. It wallows when you go down the hill for the first time - you think it's either going to tip over or shoot off to the rig ht. Once you bottom out the suspension, though, then you can point it wherever you want it to go. It becomes quite controllable, in fact. I enjoyed the Renault. You have to work hard in the Fiesta, but I think you would probably have to work harder in the 5 to be competitive."

Next Win turned to the Fiesta: "It was typical of any small front-wheel-drive car in reasonable roadgoing form. It was very easy to drive, but also very lacking in brakes. You certainly realised you were behind the wheel of a front-wheel-drive car, and one without a limited slip differential at that, because any body roll would tend to lose you traction."

After mulling over the problem fora moment, he went on: "It might add more expense to the Championship, but I would have thought it would make for better racing and better handling cars if they were fitted with limited slips.

"I found I was losing a lot of time and actual placing control - that is, being able to place the car just where I wanted to - by the fact it was spinning wheels frequently. I would have thought an LSD would have made a better car of it.*

But what did Terry Blamire, the Renault pilot, make of this Ford front-driver? Not unexpectedly, stability and the more sensitive controls were the items which drew his attention: "On the whole, it's more positive and more like a racing car than a raced road car. It's easier to drive quickly than the 5, because with the Renault you tend to have to fight it a little bit, while you can drive the Fiesta and it does the rest itself. What with its wider tyres and harder suspension, it's built as a circuit car anyway - and it behaves like it."

It was fairly clear at the end of the day's activities that the Metro had made the biggest impression on Win, and as he discussed it, he became more enthusiastic: "It was nice, that car. I imagine if you just got down to it properly, you could really enjoy driving it, and go quite quickly too. It surprised me, I must admit.

"Having programmed myself to expect understeer with front-wheel-drive cars, you jump in the Metro and find that it just doesn't happen. It's an oversteering car if you drive it hard. In fact, I would say that car is more positive than any Group One saloon I've driven. Once I'd settled into it, the harder I drove, the easier it got.

"I was very impressed with it, to be honest.".....


 


 
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