A week before last year’s ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletic Championships, Morant Bay High School’s Marcus Brown started training for the decathlon.The then 17-year-old would surprise himself after finishing third at Champs despite the short preparation period.A year later, Brown secured his first gold medal at the championships after tallying 6,781 points; bettering Buff Bay’s Amaudo O’Conner (6,649) and Rhodes Hall’s Asani Hylton (6,517).Brown disappointedPleased, but not satisfied, Brown expressed disappointment that he was unable to break the meet record of 6,988 points and the IAAF World Junior Championships qualification standard of 7,200 points.”Seeing that I didn’t get the record, which is what I had planned for to bring me to Worlds, I am a bit upset to be honest.”But winning this gold medal is still something to feel happy about,” he told The Gleaner after his event.”I could have performed better in the 110m hurdles. My PB is 13 high and I really should have cleared two metres in the high jump as well. Also, in the javelin, I could have thrown 47 metres, but only did 42-metre, so I certainly wasn’t at my best throughout,” Brown said.”My mom told me to come home with the gold medal and I’m glad that I was able to come out here and do that for her as well,” added Brown.His coach Damion Reid, the hurdles and field events coach at Morant Bay High – who himself competed at Champs and made the 400m hurdles final in 2005 – was extremely happy for his young charge.”I am elated for him. I only made a final when I competed at Champs, I never won a medal as an athlete, but to get a gold medal as a coach, it feels so good,” Reid said.
Driving this Focus RS was a bit like knowing you were dreaming and afraid you might wake up. All too soon my drive was over and as always with good dreams the memories fade fast in the real world.After my cousin dropped out of college I remember my late Aunt Bida updating me on his progress. Brendan! Ah he’s doing great, he now does the books for a band, what is it you call them? “FOCUS”! Nah that’s not it, they’re called “BLUR” that’s it. Knew it had something to do with your eye sight. Advertisement Think my drive in the new Focus RS this week was a bit like my aunt’s memory of the 1980s band, The Focus went that fast.It was more like a Blur! Both in terms of sheer power, 345 bhp, and the pure enjoyment.Ford are 100 years in Ireland this year and what better way to celebrate their anniversary than to take a drive in one of the fastest road going Focus that Ford have ever produced.Enjoying a cuppa at Macs as we test out the new Ford Focus RS from Hegarty’s .Letterkenny. Photo Brian McDaidAndrew Hegarty thought the blue RS was the nicest looking of the two RS Focus he had in the showroom. That blue is unique to the Focus RS he said. I had my own reasons for wanting to drive a white RS. Advertisement That oval Ford badge on a white Ford RS just sends me into a male version of Alice in Wonderland.I remember reading somewhere that in 1968 the first Ford MK1 Escorts RS 1600 were available in any colour as long as you ask for them in Diamond White!A decade on in the 70’s and I was living the dream, not Alice in Wonderland, more like “Brian in Ballymacool” working at the Old Hegarty’s Auto Services garage “out the Row” at 14 years of age on the petrol pumps, moving Ford Escort RS 2000s and Escort Mexicos around the forecourt.40 years on and I am back in Hegarty’s looking for excuses to move RS’s around their forecourt again; No doughnuts now, Brian! Andrew Hegarty warns me as he hands me the key of the gleaming white Focus RS, Doughnuts I thought, some chance, I wasn’t even going to chance a “coffee to go” in it.Getting into the RS and seeing the Recaro seats takes me back to the new Ford RS2000 of the 1970’s with the mesh in the see-through headrests.The best of the best in seating from Recaro on board the Focus RS which we drove this week. Photo Brian McDaidI press the starter button the engine rumbles to life, Cosworth breathed their magic on this latest power plant as they did on them first RS1600 escorts of the 60s. If them engines of the 1960s had a rasping sounds of sucking air and fuel into the inlet, now the present day turbos have the thunder of fuel and air pushed in the induction valves.To the untrained eye this diamond white Focus just looks like any other Focus. To a Cosworth Connoisseur, the heritage of this car has signs at every corner of it. I know cars that have smaller road wheels and tyres than the brake discs are on this Ford Focus, they’re massive! with blue Brembo Brake callipers looking out through the alloy wheels.The big brakes, a view through one of the wheels of the New Ford RS Focus to the Bembo Brakes Systems. Photo Brian McDaidThe traffic is heavy on the High Road as we await our turn to merge into it, 0-100kms takes just over 4 seconds, so it’s not to long before we are out in the flow of traffic.As you would expect from this RS, it has a stiffness to its suspension, but still this car can be very civilised on the road, that’s if you wanted that way. Give it a stretch of open road and give it the gas and it’s a different animal, there were hairs standing on my head where I no longer have hair! As this car gathered its horsepower, and shorten the straits, pure magic.I have to say that over the years the RS badge kind of lost it’s way, (in my view) when the power was transferred to the front wheels, but this RS has brought it all home again. It’s a bit like the riff of that song that you have forgotten over the years that transports you to a time, a place, and a feeling.Ford have always done this so beautifully and this Focus is the prime example. This RS is four-wheel drive but makes no big deal about it.Now if you want to really engage with it, you can at the flick of a button puts it into drift mode. It must put a load of power to the rear wheels. I honestly don’t know.. Mr. Hegarty!This car got a bit of bad press for this button when it was launched. As do most things that you enjoy these days.One of the reasons I like this RS in white is at a passing glance it might look like any other Ford Focus, but looks in this innocent white car is where it ends! There are loads of cars running about now with the clothes of far more powerful cars with spoilers and buckets seats and very slick low slung body lines.This car needs everything including that bad boy or girl button, it needs every inch if downdraft from its aerodynamics, every inch of grip from its go faster wheels, every bit of stopping power from them big Bembo brakes.I dreamed all my life of owning an RS, not that I think that I am that good of a driver.Driving this RS was a bit like knowing you were dreaming and afraid you might wake up.All too soon my drive was over and as always with good dreams they fade fast in the real world.In the old RS2000 it was the clonk of the gearstick making it way into the close ratio gear shift that will always remind me of them great cars. Now 40 years on it’s just pushing the start button and the rumble of the 2.3 engine’s note out through them two walk through exhausts that gets me.54,000 euros buy this white RS Focus, think the blue one might be dearer, but they are class, even at that price.The Lotto I made a journey to Dublin to say goodbye to the last of my aunts, who passed away last week.Funerals for me make me appreciate life.Me and my brother Cathal went up and shared the driving. Normally I just use the motorway from Adree on into Dublin all of the time. He was driving back and wanted to use the old Ashbourne Rd. which we did.I told him we still needed to find a place to pay for our toll on the M50 and we finally found a place in Ardee on the Dublin Rd. called Daybreak.I paid for the E flow, 7.80 for two passes on the M50 in the van, two Magnum ice creams for me and my driver, a bottle of Coca Cola for Cathal and a coffee for me, and two lotto one each for us for luck!I have to say I enjoyed my journey back home to Donegal sitting in the passenger seat going through all them old towns but as the week progressed I couldn’t help but notice that my regular stop at the filling station on the Motorway in Lusk was the filling station where the winning lotto ticket was sold on the same day and time that we were on the old road parallel to it. Mmmmmmmmm… Good Bye Focus RS.And finally I included a couple of pictures from Damien Tourish’s shakedown as he prepares for the Galway Rally this weekend.I am so happy to see this rally going ahead but think longterm spectators will have to get involved in some way for this free to view sport.Man and Machine. Damien Tourish , who by his own admission is a bit rusty pictured at the weekend as he get to grips with his Ford Escort MK2 in preparation for the forthcoming Galway Rally this weekend. Photo Brian McDaidOne of the biggest attendance to any sport in Co. Donegal is rallying. There is no gate receipts so no one really knows how may thousands of spectators come to Donegal every year. The Galway rally this weekend is the same and it gives that county on the western sea board a much needed cash injection to the local economy.We are in the same boat up here. So longterm there should be some way of taking the burden of insurance off the competitor. It will be to late trying to addresses this when the insurance premium gets to high.We overcame this before in the 1980s and to my memory Donegal Motor Clubs were one of the front runners in raising the much needed cash, The club also introducing new safety measures.On standby Our Motoring columnist on the Donegal Rally in the 1980s as part of a emergency team to fly to tan accident in the event of one happening.I can remember giving up my rally weekend to sit on call with accident cutting gear at a helicopter to fly straight to the scene of any accident on rally weekend.Happy Motoring FolksDD Motoring: The Ford Focus RS was last modified: February 1st, 2017 by Brian McDaidShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:brian mc daiddd motoringfocus rsford