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Search for the Ultimate Street Car

Posted: Jan 09, 2018

Ford Focus RS in OPTIMA's Search for the Ultimate Street Car Series

The Ford Focus RS is one of the newest kids on the performance car block. So how has it fared in OPTIMA's Search for the Ultimate Street Car Series?

The long-anticipated arrival of the Ford Focus RS seems like it just happened yesterday, but the truth is, the hot, all-wheel drive sport compact started showing up in mid-2016. We know this, because almost as soon as the cars started arriving, one of the competitors in OPTIMA's Search for the Ultimate Street Car Series, Todd Earsley, parked his Mitsubishi Evo and hit the track in his new Focus RS (and drove it to & from every event with a utility trailer in tow).

Earsley may have been the trailblazer in the 2016 season, but he was joined by several more Focus RS's (Foci?) in the 2017 season. So how do these cars stack up against the competition? Weighing in at over 3,200 pounds and sporting all-wheel drive moves them into the RECARO GTS Class, where they have to lock horns with some very stiff competition, including Vipers, Corvettes and Nissan GT-Rs. Here's how they've fared through the 2017 OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational:

2016
Charlotte Motor Speedway
8th place Todd Earsley 2016 Focus RS

Circuit of the Americas
11th place Todd Earsley 2016 Focus RS

Road America
8th place Todd Earsley 2016 Focus RS

NOLA Motorsports Park
4th place Todd Earsley 2016 Focus RS

Auto Club Speedway
5th place Todd Earsley 2016 Focus RS

2017 RECARO GTS Class Final Points
9th place Todd Earsley 2016 Focus RS

OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational
37th place Todd Earsley 2016 Focus RS

2017
NOLA Motorsports Park
7th place Mike Gallagher 2016 Focus RS

NCM Motorsports Park
8th place Mike Gallagher 2016 Focus RS

Pike's Peak International Raceway
11th place Mike Gallagher 2016 Focus RS
12th place Todd Earsley 2016 Focus RS

New Jersey Motorsports Park
3rd place Mike Gallagher 2016 Focus RS
5th place Todd Earsley 2016 Focus RS
10th place John Pettit 2016 Focus RS
14th place Steve Gillman 2017 Focus RS

Auto Club Speedway
7th place Wes Drelleshak 2016 Focus RS

Road America
8th place Mike Gallagher 2016 Focus RS
23rd place Logan Kepler 2016 Focus Rs

2017 RECARO GTS Class Final Points
8th place Mike Gallagher 2016 Focus RS
19th place Todd Earsley 2016 Focus RS
38th place Wes Drelleshak 2016 Focus RS
49th place John Pettit 2016 Focus RS
64th place Steve Gillman 2017 Focus RS
65th place Logan Kepler 2016 Focus RS

OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational
30th place Mike Gallagher 2016 Focus RS
59th place Jeff Lacina 2017 Focus RS


So what do these results tell us? Todd Earsley parked his Mitsubishi Evo when his Focus RS arrived and Earsley's finishing position and associated points improved immediately when he got behind the wheel of his Focus RS. We also know the RECARO GTS Class is large and packed with incredibly-built, fast cars with very talented drivers behind the wheel, so coming in with a completely new platform is no easy task. Top-ten finishes, especially in Earsley's early events when his Focus RS was nearly bone-stock are an impressive accomplishment, especially when many of the class fields had well over 20 entries.

Even though 2018 marks the final year of production for the current Focus RS, the cars will be eligible to compete in OPTIMA's Search for the Ultimate Street Car Series for many years to come. Even with production ending, the automotive aftermarket is just ramping up products that will offer Focus RS owners significant performance gains. The Mitsubishi Evo RS owners, including 2017 OUSCI Champion, Ken Thwaits' 2006 Evo RS are proof that the best years of these cars are yet to come. Be sure to check out the huge gallery of Focus RS action shots below and if you have a Focus RS, consider joining the others in OPTIMA's 2018 Search for the Ultimate Street Car Series. By the way, did you know an OPTIMA battery will fit in the Ford Focus RS and offer a weight savings over the OE battery? Check out the install video here.

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