Mc Laren worked on upgrading my steel braking system since last time, and one of their staff who happened to be professional racer back in the day, came with me to see whether I was mistreating and/or overdriving the car, or whether the brakes really couldn't hold up at thunderhill.
To be honest, I wasn't sure whether I had done something wrong last time, I wondered whether when doing left foot braking I had been holding the brake by mistake, or something else. On our first session out (no left foot braking), I drove reasonably hard since it was still cool, just to see how the brakes would do with the new slots and cooling, but after just 5-6 laps, I found out that they were overheating again (pedal firm, but felt like wood). With pretty much no warning, just before 14, I got almost no stopping out of them, and got too close to a friend of mine and his car.
After getting over the "that was a bit too close of comfort, and apologizing to my fellow driver", I had a chat with my instructor and he agreed that I didn't do anything obviously wrong, he commented that I was faster than what he had expected, and that the brakes just couldn't take the heat. It was really annoying because effectively the brakes did worse than last time when they only started giving out in the afternoon :(
I did consider going straight home at that point, but he kind of half convinced me that it may not have been worth throwing he day away just over that and that I could just brake earlier, so I elected to do that. The people I gave rides to sure didn't seem to mind :)
One of my first laps in the morning gave a 2:01, which was encouraging since I wasn't fully in the zone yet, and I typically shave time off after a few sessions when I do a better job driving consistently, but obviously with the brake issues, I didn't get anywhere close to that, and dialed it way down to a 2:06-ish on most laps (with the bypass in 5).
In the afternoon, I had considered doing one last session and heading back since I knew hotter temps were just going to make things worse, and while I could have stayed the rest of the day just to give laps to people, I didn't want to push my luck. But eh, just as I was discussing this with my passenger while doing laps, and being quite careful keeping track of the feedback from my brake pedal, braking earlier, and making sure not to tailgate anyone in the section of the track that is punishing to my brakes, they turned to wood again with pretty much no warning and I overran 14, and barely stopped the car before getting to dirt.
Nothing bad happened, by then I was being quite careful anyway, but clearly it confirmed that I should never have taken the steel brakes for that, and opted for the Ceramic brakes instead. Staying longer gave us useful temp data, including the fact that the calipers were not overheating until that last session, whereas the pads definitely were. This means that it wouldn't be an easy fix of just changing pads and that the system was too small to handle the heat. So my car is going back to the dealership for a CCM upgrade now.
Attila's new ride, I'll have to worry about him when he learns to drive it :)
Dave and my Stuart, instructor for the day
Great R8, Martin should kick ass with it once he learns to be faster in it
Attila told us about the new DnF merlin point system over lunch:
And the last bit of the last lap:
Grr, they said they filled my tires with nitrogen. That sure looks like air to me