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Braking improvements on a budget


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I have started doing the occasional Sprint and Hillclimb in class 2 of the club championship, and am looking at some modest modifications to make up for a lack of talent.

My car is a pretty standard 2000, 1.6K series, with Vernier cam timing and 52 mm throttle body. I currently have standard brakes with Mintex 1144 pads in the front and the standard 19 year old pads in the back. I seem to be locking the fronts up quite a bit, so have been looking at sticking Ferodo 2500's in the front and Ferodo 3000's in the rear, however when checking prices on Demon Tweek's these pads come with a warning that they are not approved for road use, as class 2 is a road legal class, I guess I can't use these.

I am now looking at putting some Mintex 1144 pads in the back and adding a brake bias valve to the standard master cylinder as a relatively cheap option.

Any views on other budget options would be appreciated, at the moment I am looking primarily at improving my driving (just done the Harewood Hill Climb School, and booking a few track days with instruction), my son, in the same car is a good 2-3 seconds ahead of me in the same car, and has started snapping at the heels of the class 2 pack.

I may try the 260 mm solid disc, Hi-spec 4 pot front upgrade, I gather that this will not significantly improve braking, but improve feel and reduce unsprung weight by around 4 Kg, my financial controller has caustically pointed out that eating less pies would have the same effect and be a lot cheaper and healthier, the compromise position is that I lose 4 kg and am then allowed to Flex the plastic.

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Have you had the corner weights and a proper geometry set up? If corner weights are out, this could lead to one wheel being less weighted than the other leading to premature lock up. I ha this done on my road car after fitting new dampers at it improved the car feel and balance on the road.

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Hi Tom

I had the car flat floored earlier this year by Dave Gemzoe who did an excellent job, its definitely made a big improvement, now, instead of there being an Ocean between me and the pack, we are down to a Sea (still the med though). I have already had some excellent advice, and I think I will try and keep things simple and try and improve my braking technique, I am aware that I am easing off to early and then being too aggressive on the brakes too late.


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I seem to remember using Ferodo 2500's on my Subaru Impreza track car, but that was a big heavy beast with huge amounts of heat generated in the front discs under heavy braking (not continually boiling the brake fluid was an issue!).  As I remember from the time they weren't recommended for road use as their cold performance sucked, but in something as heavy as an Impreza it wasn't hard to warm them up.  

I'd be surprised if they were the solution for a Caterham though, given how much lighter it is.  

" my financial controller has caustically pointed out that eating less pies would have the same effect and be a lot cheaper and healthier" - Eeek, must not let my wife read things like this, she'll get ideas!

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