Ford Focus Monster Tamer – Hillclimb Racer

About the Project

After 8 years of dormancy, the Race to the Sky Hillclimb was revitalised in 2015 by successful businessman owner and long-time racer, Tony Quinn.  The reopening of the event attracted world-wide legends such as Nobuhiro ”Monster” Tajima and Alister McRae to motorsport’s longest gravel Hillclimb located in Otago, New Zealand. Quinn assigned PACE Innovations with the task to design and build a car capable of competing with some of the best in the business of Hillclimb racing, and with the nickname “Monster Tamer”, there was no hiding the projects underlying purpose. Due to dealings with Ford on previous projects such as the production of the Marc I, Monster Tamer was decided to take the shape of a Ford Focus sedan, however the windscreen and A-pillar were the only OE parts used in build. The purpose-built car with a fully custom aero package was powered by an 850hp, twin turbo Nissan VR38 engine, and weighed in at just 950kg. Its carbon-fibre bodywork produced around 1000kg at 200km/hour. It was also fitted with WRC-spec tires and a brake package like that of a GP2 car at the time.

“The hill climb car is just a brute of a thing. When you drive it you just think, ‘Holy s**t’.”

– Tony Quinn via


The project went from concept to a running prototype in just 22 weeks. Originally, the car was designed purely for the gravel surface of the event but was later converted to a tar-seal-focused car when it took on the most prestigious Hillclimb event in the World: Peaks Pike in Colorado, USA. After deciding to compete in the 2015 Race to the Sky Hillclimb event himself, Quinn went on to compete in Pikes Peak in 2016 and 2017, and the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2019, where he finished 9th in field filled with F1 cars, Le Mans prototypes and other factory sports car prototypes.