Reviewed: Ferodo DS1.11

We fit some Ferodo DS1.11 to our Porsche Cayman S and hit the track. How did they perform? Read on to find out.

So its been a tricky year for all of us, I'm sure. This virus has tested us all in various ways from business, to family life, to mental health, and in between it all, the hunt for toilet rolls, flour and anything to keep the kids busy for 10 minutes.

So now we arrive in December, and all we want is to get back indoors away from the cold, turn the heating up to max, finish work and get ready for a small family Xmas. Lets put 2020 to bed people.

And so it is, that on the 9th December, we find ourselves sliding into Paddock Hill bend at Brands Hatch. A day born out of the ashes of a last minute cancelled day at Silverstone. But the motorsport and trackday industry is anything if not resourceful, and here we are, its zero degrees outside and we are clipping apexes on the Brands Hatch GP circuit in a mid-engined Porsche.

The mere reality that we are all able to participate in such events, during this time of crisis, is testament to our Government and more importantly, the trackday fraternity for making sure they could operate these events safely. Kudos guys. This means that we can get on with the business of trackday car hire with driver training.

As a bi-product of this, we can continue reporting our experiences on circuit and feedback to you, the trackday enthusiast. In this case, we want to discuss the Ferodo DS1.11 brake pad. This came recommended to us via our brake pad distributor partners. For the initiated trackdayers, this brake pad was pitched to us as a high level, consistent pad that whilst not reaching the dizzy heights of a DSZ compound pad in terms of outright stopping power, it will deliver high performance for a longer session. Sounds promising to us.

Following on from our previous post regarding EBC's new RP-1 race pads in our Honda S2000, we found ourselves testing the DS1.11 on our Porsche Cayman S. We have now completed 2 trackdays with these pads; one at Bedford Autodrome, a fast circuit with only one corner (turn 1) requiring a sustained braking period. One on the Brands Hatch GP circuit, with more frequent heavy braking zones.

Lets start with the road use. If looking for road use, these may be a tad overkill. Excellent initial bite, with a sustained, linear feel. Very good. You could probably get away with a lighter compound such as a DS2500 for the road which would be a little cheaper and be a little less harsh on the discs. However there is no denying that the DS1.11 compound works on the road, and seems to last really well. We found brake dust levels on the wheels to be quite low as well, which is a bonus if you like your wheels clean.

We arrive at Bedford Autodrome with 2 drivers having hired the Cayman-S and myself for a days tuition in the car. The day was warm and dry, the amount of quality wheel time was high so the car was being worked and getting hot. As we get going in the morning and begin gaining in confidence, the brakes begin to shine and give us that stopping power that I, as a coach, am looking for so I can confidently push my driver to brake deeper, and later, into bends. From the passenger side, I am happy.

Porshce Trackday with Real GT
RGT Director nick coaching in the Cayman S at Bedford

As we move over into the afternoon sessions and we are getting quicker, whilst the power to reduce speeds is there, the pedal is getting longer. By the end of the day both driver and driver coach were satisfied, however it is worth noting with hindsight that the quicker we got, the more carefully we needed to manage our braking. As long as you can feel the car talk to you, and feel the pads begin to fade, you know it is time to do your cool down lap. I find this acceptable – however not something I am used to having run Stoptech pads in a number of our trackday hire fleet and never once experienced fade. Could this be the brake fluid? Could it be brake lines? Time for another test.

This time, as we mentioned, we find ourselves at Brands Hatch on the GP circuit. A much sterner test of a brake pad. With it now being December, a greasy start means we are a bit limited in how hard we can use the brakes – careful management is required particularly if driving without ABS and traction control. We get lucky though – the rain slows right down at 10am and by afternoon we can most certainly see a dry line around the whole circuit. Game on. Here, the Ferodo DS1.11 began to struggle. Fortunately we can safely manage this with 15 minute stints instead of 20 and a proper lap to cool them down after our hot laps. It was certainly a disappointment though, having had these so highly recommended and having excellent experience with Ferodo products previously in our BMW M3.

I think I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt and give them one more go with fresh Super 600+ brake fluid. I've also got a set of Endless pads on the shelf kindly donated by Zak at Torque distribution and I've heard great things so I can feel a head to head test coming on....

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