Civic Type R driver enjoyed the EBC Brakes Racing formula in both two Croft races of the championship
In the second round of the 2021 Type R Trophy recently, held at Darlington’s Croft Circuit, racer Luke Rosewell was able to use the two-race weekend to try out EBC Brakes Racing’s RP-1 track/race brake pad in his EP3 Honda Civic Type R.
Although it wasn’t the most straightforward weekend for Rosewell, with plenty of hurdles thrown into the mix, he was very impressed with the friction material and managed to secure a podium finish in the second race.
Luke’s thoughts on the weekend and how the brake pads fared can be viewed below in his own words.
“What a drama round two of the Type R Trophy turned out to be for me!
“I planned to run my current pads [a popular pad in the Civic race scene, from another high-performance brake manufacturer] in FP1, EBC’s RP-1 in FP2, EBC’s RP-X in FP3 and then whichever set was best in FP4.
“All was going well, apart from a few red flags cutting track time and the RP-1 pads bedded in nicely. I was then a couple of laps into my push run and I missed fourth gear, tried again but got second… and that was the end of the engine (and my day)!
“After scouring eBay all afternoon, we found an engine in Birmingham, with the guy willing to deliver to Croft the same day. By 6pm on Friday night, the eBay motor was shoehorned into his brother’s car’s passenger footwell!”
“In the meantime, me and Dad were removing the blown engine from a car we had never worked on before.
“The new engine landed in Croft at 9:30pm (quicker than Amazon Prime!) and we set about swapping over the regulation bits and other parts (plugs, coils, alternator etc – all things that we didn’t know the history of on the new engine).
“By 11:30pm, the light had beaten us, but at least we had mounted the engine in place.
At 5:30am on Saturday morning, we started again, four hours before qualifying was due to start. We had some great help from the lads at DH Racing (who built the car originally), without this, we definitely wouldn’t have got as far as we did.
“By 7:45am, we had the new engine running for the first time and thankfully without any knocking or funny noises. After clearing all the excess oil and water out of the exhaust, we finished building the front end up and had the car on its wheels at 8:45am ready for scrutineering.”
“Qualifying came and with less than 10 laps of testing (on a track we had never driven before), we managed to bring it back in P4. The RP-1 pads performed brilliantly throughout, with no intrusion of ABS and no long pedal at all. The car still wasn’t handling how I would have liked and I was still deciding gears and lines for corners.
“Race 1 was a bit messy at the start and I ended the first lap in P5. Without the pace to go with the front three, I stuck to the bumper of fourth and after 10 minutes of pressure, we managed to force him into a mistake which gave me the chance to get through. We finished a comfortable P4. I now had a much better idea of where I was going, with another chance to make set up changes to the car.
“In Race 2, the car was much better, I was in P3 after the first lap, pressuring P2 into a couple of small errors (but not enough to get through). After about 12 minutes, I made a mistake on a gear change out the hairpin (same place as Friday), but this time I made sure I selected the correct gear, losing a second in the process. With the pressure off P2, I was settling for third when I got caught with a slow back-marker through a yellow flag zone, almost dropping me back into the hands of P4. Thankfully, we held onto P3 to finish the weekend.”
“Overall, the RP-1 pads were a huge step in performance compared to the previous pads I used. The bite was fantastic and they never went into the ABS like the other pads did, meaning you could brake deep into a corner, knowing the car was going to stop. I would say that the only downside I found with them was that in the last lap or two of races, the pedal went a little long, but after following cars for the majority of the time, I put this down to the cooling.
“I ran the Bluestuff rear pads all weekend and they definitely had a great initial bite. When running with my previous pads, the car felt too much rear biased, but with the RP-1 fronts, the balance settled much better.
“Unfortunately, we were unable to bed in the RP-X pads before qualifying, due to the engine blow up, so I wasn’t able to try these. At our next race in Snetterton, I will be back-to-back testing RP-1 and RP-X during the testing sessions and can hopefully provide more feedback on the pads.
“If the RP-1’s are anything to go by, I can’t wait to try the RP-X!”