Jordan Michels intends to take one of the more unique cars in this year’s South Island Endurance Series – a V8-powered MARC Ford Focus – to the top.
The Invercargill racer will remain with Team Williams for his 2021 campaign.
He won back-to-back national one-hour championships in a Honda TCR with the team in 2019 and 2020.
Now, parking the trusty Honda in the garage for the upcoming season, Michels is eager to put his latest weapon through its paces.
“It’s pretty cool,” Michels told Velocity News. “It’s something different.”
The Focus is only the second MARC car in New Zealand. The first was a MARC II V8 Mustang slated to enter the three-hour championship this year.
Despite not being overly intimidating in stature, the Focus packs a serious punch under its bodywork.
It’s driven by a 5-litre Ford Coyote V8 engine delivering 500 horsepower.
Then there is the fully adjustable traction control and ABS settings at Michels’ fingertips to maximise lap time.
So far, the car has only completed one test since it was imported from Australia.
Still, Michels was impressed with its initial running.
“[The first test] was pretty good,” he said.
“We were on used tyres, so got no true feeling about qualifying pace.
“It’s about 30km/hr faster [than the TCR] down the main straight.”
The distinctive nature of the Focus was what allured Team Williams owner Peter Williams into purchasing it. That, and the intention of winning the one-hour series again this year.
“The price was fair. It is about the same as a TCR,” Michels said.
“It is a bit different, especially in a race stacked of Porsches.
“We thought it should run near the front. With the Honda, we were up there but not quite quick enough to chase down the Porsches.
“Now with more horsepower we will see how we go.”
Michels is doing the complete four-round South Island series, which begins at Highlands Motorsport Park on October 2.
Images: Jessica Smith