Slow Down Speed Racer!
Many of you who read the RGT blog will know that I'm a regular contributor to various online forums, usually on facebook or similar social platforms. I like to contribute my knowledge picked up from first hand experience out on circuit and in the workshop. Those who have met me up and down the country in the pitlane know that I'm more than happy to volunteer my knowledge and experiences during a cool down session and a cuppa.
We have tested a lot of brake pads, from a lot of the key brake pad manufacturers. I'm pretty sure we have used every type of brake pad available, on various different applications. Some work on road and not track. Some work on track and not road. And some just simply don't work well enough on either.
What brake pads should I fit? Shall I go by brand or by price, by compound or by manufacturer recommendation? I'm sure you have heard it all before. So lets look at this in a bit more detail.
Usually, it comes down to judging your braking product based on the application. A pad that works well on a Caterham 7 may not work so well on a BMW M3 for example. Fortunately for you we have both, with a variety in between so in-house testing is pretty accessible for us. So what pads have we tested? Lets see:
Pagid street pads
Eicher high street cheap pads
Brembo street performance
PBS trackday pads
EBC Yellow stuff
Lets consider the reality of the situation for manufacturers of braking products. They have to create a product for every type of requirement for both road and track. A single disappointed customer is significantly more likely to go online and make noise about a poor product than a single happy customer to promote a good product. After all, you spend your hard earned and you expect your purchase to do the business. So do not go purely on what people are saying online. Speak with the suppliers, speak with professionals, and speak with hobbyists who have experience on circuit.
Many of us in the trackday fraternity will find the braking solution that works for us, either based on bang-for-buck or outright performance or a compromise of the two, and not look at the situation again until you have a problem that needs addressing.
This happened with us for 2020. We had a strong supplier deal with Stoptech, who manufacture in the USA however would distribute from Holland, where we would regularly source stock for our vehicles and client vehicles. With Brexit and Corona virus affecting their supply chain and the way in which they must work, we must end up following suit and we now have a different supply chain for Stoptech. This resulted in longer lead times. Well, time is not something we always have when we need pads for a last minute trackday, or following on from a day with a particularly heavy braker.
So, with new supply chains and commercial deals in place we, for the first time since we began running driving experiences in 2013, had an organic opportunity to test various different pads on road and track. The results are in, and first up is the EBC RP-X: