Luke Rosewell shows front-running pace at Snetterton 300 leg of Toyo Tires 7 series
Caterham racer Luke Rosewell is currently battling it out in the 2022 Toyo Tires 7 race series (after taking second overall in the 2021 Type R Trophy in his EBC Brakes Racing RP-X™-equipped Honda Civic).
Rosewell has continued using EBC Brakes discs and pads this year in his Caterham Supersport, showing great promise so far.
For the Snetterton 300 leg of the championship recently, Luke was able to swap to an all-new race car that promised to be far more capable than its predecessor, also allowing him to try different brake pad compounds, including the much-loved RP-X™ track/race formula again.
Luke explains how the weekend went down in his own words below…
“We arrived to round 3 at Snetterton 300 with a new car thanks to Fulvia Classics. The good news was that I would now be fighting in equally-paced machinery, but the bad news was I had a new car to get used to before qualifying!
“Free practice 1 was a bit of a mess, as we were still trying to find my comfortable seating position.
“Free practice 2 went better, and we were setting competitive lap times.
Then, we started with the new brake pad testing. The new car has different front brakes, and therefore new compounds to try from the ever-growing EBC Brakes Racing range!
“We began by bedding in the Bluestuff NDX pads and trying those (same compound as we ran in the old car). The car instantly felt familiar, with the nice progressive feel I was so accustomed to from the previous car. The times were the same as we had set in FP2, but the track had got slower for everyone else, so we were looking very good.
“For the final session, we bedded and ran the EBC Brakes Racing RP-X™ pad (keeping Bluestuff on the rear). RP-X™ was the same compound we had used successfully during the Honda Civic campaign in 2021. I was a little apprehensive about using such an aggressive pad on such a light car, but I was quickly proved wrong. They bedded in very quickly, and although they were easier to lock up than with the Bluestuff pads, when you got them up to temperature, they were absolutely fantastic! You could literally stop on a sixpence, albeit with a bit more modulation on the pedal!
“Entering qualifying, we stuck with the RP-X™ pads. The brakes warmed up straight away, and on our first lap we instantly went to the top of the table. Even with some silly ‘F1-esque’ queuing at the last corner ruining a couple of good laps, we managed to get a final quick lap in to secure pole position.
“For race 1, we started with our first pole position of the season, and although we knew we wouldn’t be able to pull away (as is always the case with Caterham racing), we were confident we could at least try and break up the group a bit.
“As it happens, we managed to get away with just two other cars, so we were left to sort out the podium places. With places swapping every other corner, and a different leader over the line each lap, it was all going to boil down to last lap tactics. We were so strong on the brakes, it felt as though we could overtake at will! I took the lead onto the final lap and knowing it was going to be a drag to the line, tried my hardest to stop their momentum out the last corner. Unfortunately, we were just pipped to the line by 0.049s, with third place only 0.019s behind us!
“It meant we started race 2 from P2, but again, I knew we just had to work as a group to try and get away from the chasing pack.
“With some late braking moves, the same three of us eventually created a gap with about five minutes to go, so once again, I started planning my final laps. At one point, I came out of the final corner second and rehearsed a drag to the line, just pipping the leader.
“Knowing where I wanted to be exiting the final corner, I sat comfortably in second, a couple of car lengths back as we came round to start the final lap. Although it wasn’t… I had miscounted, and a ‘last lap’ board hadn’t been shown as it had been in race 1, so I was too far back on run to the line. Second again…
“As it happened, third place also thought we were on the penultimate lap, so he wasn’t putting me under pressure for second either!”
“The third race of the weekend was a reverse top 10 from race 2, so I lined up 9th. This was my final chance to try and take our first win of the season, but I would have to do it from further back!
“Starting so far back, we really relied on the RP-X™ pads, and they worked perfectly from the opening lap. We could brake later than anybody else, without a worry of running wide! By the end of the first lap, we were 5th, and by lap 3 we were in the lead!
“Once again, the same two cars latched onto the back of us and we started working together to pull a gap.
“I took the lead onto the final lap, but onto the back straight, tried to let second place through. He knew exactly what I was doing and wouldn’t take the bait!
“By this point, we had slowed so much that 4th place was now in our group. Concerned that any more games could leave me off the podium, I pushed hard into the final sector to try and get a gap. Exiting the last corner, I had more of a gap than race 1, but it still wasn’t enough. We lost the win by 0.036s.
“I was absolutely gutted to lose out in all three races by virtually nothing, but it showed that with the new car and the EBC RP-X™ pads, we are definitely a contender for the final two rounds of the championship.
“A big thanks to Fulvia Classics for helping us get hold of the new car, and EBC for their hard work in providing us the very best brakes we could ask for!”
A high-friction sport and race material that now has R90 approval on almost all fitments for the EU. For USA and Asia markets where R90 does not apply, this compound is totally road safe and the perfect choice for performance vehicles driven hard on the road or track days.