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Race a Ford Focus in the Gillette Stadium parking lot

Posted by Clifford Atiyeh  May 30, 2012 01:07 PM

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Yes, you read that correctly. On July 21, Ford is bringing a trailer full of Focus ST hatchbacks, the rally-inspired version enjoyed by Europeans for many years, to the parking lot outside Gillette Stadium. Basically, you have carte blanche to wring it through an open lot without caring about scuffing the paint or destroying orange cones -- and without scaring the daylights out of a salesman.

Racing instructors will be teaching average drivers how to slice through an autocross, a timed event that requires a driver to drive quickly in a very tight, narrow course dotted by cones. Balance and handling, not speed, are the end games here. It's a perfect way to show what the 247-horsepower Focus ST can do (along with Ford's torque-vectoring system, which can make the car grip harder when powering out of a sharp turn).

If you're up to task, Ford will let you race in an autocross competition later in the day. Sign up here (it's free). If you can't find the lot, just let the smell of burning clutches and melting brake pads get you there. And if you can't make it in Boston, Ford's doing the same thing in New York and Washington, D.C. starting at the end of June.

The Focus ST will start at $24,495 -- about the price of a Mazdaspeed 3 or a base Subaru WRX -- when it goes on sale later this year.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
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Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
In the garage: 2006 Subaru Baja
AAA's Car Doctor, John Paul John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
In the garage: Hyundai Sante Fe, Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible
Craig Fitzgerald has been writing about cars, motorcycles, and the automotive industry since 1999. He is the former editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
In the garage: 1968 Buick Riviera, 1996 Buick Roadmaster, 1974 Honda CB450
Keith Griffin is president of the New England Motor Press Association and edits the used car section on He also writes for the Hartford Business Journal and various weekly newspapers in Connecticut.
In the garage: Mazda 5, Dodge Neon
George Kennedy is a senior writer for WheelsTV in Acton, which produces video reviews for Yahoo, MSN, and other auto websites.
In the garage: Lifted 1999 Jeep Cherokee
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