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Luke Rosewell clinched two podium finishes at the international Caterham race recently

After a successful second-place finish in the 2022 Toyo Tires 7 Championship with the help of EBC Brakes Racing’s RP™ motorsport brake pad range, Luke Rosewell recently headed to Italy’s renowned Monza Circuit with the series for a guest international round.

Continuing to use EBC’s RP-X™ pads in his Caterham Supersport for this non-championship meeting, Rosewell continued to dominate not just his class of cars, but also some of the fast class, too.You can read how the weekend panned out in his own words below.

“Our final race of the year was a non-championship event at the famous Monza Circuit in Italy. This had been a dream of mine to race here since I was a five-year-old boy, standing at the side of the track watching the Grand Prix back in 2000.

“There was a lot less track time this weekend compared to a UK championship event, so we only had 40 minutes of Free Practice before Qualifying.

“We had to bed-in new brake discs due to picking up damage at the last event, so we took advantage of bedding-in a brand-new set of RP-X™ pads at the same time.

“After a few laps, everything felt normal and as good as it had been all year with the EBC Brakes setup. At the end of the session, it turned out there was an issue with the UK-spec transponders, so nobody had any lap times to compare against. Even still, the car felt fast.

“Into Qualifying and it was a race to get out and start lapping, learning more and pushing braking points each lap. With the tow being so important in Caterham racing, and Monza having some of the longest straights of any circuit, it was really a case of pushing on every lap just in case you managed to pick up a good tow on one of the straights. As it happened, the tow wasn’t as effective as some UK circuits, just because of how fast we were going, and the ‘road car’ fifth gear not allowing the car to accelerate much more. This meant that finding time on the brakes was even more important, which was lucky as the RP-X™ pads were allowing me to brake even later than anybody else!

“We picked up pole position for both races (Race 2 grid being set by a driver’s second-fastest time).

“As we were sharing the track with the faster 420R-spec cars, our grid started further back which meant a longer run to Turn 1!

“With a missed gear after lights out, I dropped to fifth by the actual start line. This wasn’t a disaster though as it allowed me to pick up a good tow to bring me back to the lead group by the first chicane. As 54 cars queued up to get around T1, our grid caught the back of the faster cars in front. By the second chicane, we were mixing with the faster cars under brakes. Utilising the fantastic performance from cold of the RP-X™ pads, we soon climbed back up to P2, and by the end of Lap 1, we were leading the 1600 Class.

“Now right in the mix with the slower drivers from the 420R class, it allowed me to pull a gap to P2 as I was towed along all the long straights by the faster cars.

“By the half-way point, P2 had latched onto a 420R and was now closing me back in. With two laps to go, he finally got his nose in front down the main straight, but with the RP-X™ underneath me, I knew I could out-brake him and take the position back.

“As we came onto the last lap I had just enough gap to a 420R car in front that I could pick up a tow, but not close enough to trip up each other into the corners. Over the line we took the win with the fastest lap!”

“In Race 2, we made a better start, and even after leaving a larger gap to the 420R grid, still caught them up by T1. At the second chicane, while leading, I took a couple of the 420s on the brakes. This left me right in the middle of their pack exiting the chicane, as a couple of them came together. With nowhere to go, I hit a stray exhaust which launched the car into the air.

“I was still leading but immediately could feel some damage to the suspension. The car was bouncing uncontrollably in the straights, and when applying the brakes, the rear was moving from side to side!

“Again, there were two of us that had pulled away from the chasing pack, but this time I didn’t have the straight-line speed to overtake, as the car would begin bouncing aggressively. With about seven minutes of the 25 remaining, I had all but conceded the fact the only way I could win was a run to the line. But then, approaching the second chicane as I went to change into fifth gear, the gear lever jammed and I got stuck in fourth. At this moment, the chance of winning had vanished and it was now about holding onto second.

“The car was drivable everywhere except the two second-gear chicanes, where I had to dip the clutch to keep the revs up. It was a long couple of laps and I could smell the burning clutch at each chicane. Just when I considered pulling into the pits so as not to do anymore damage, the safety car boards were shown with approx. four minutes left, due to a lot of debris in the middle of the track! I stayed out knowing that the race could well finish under the safety car, and it did! It was red flagged a lap later and so we were classified second, with another fastest lap!

“After the race we saw the damage to the car was a snapped rear A-frame, which is supposed to hold the rear axle in place, so it certainly made it interesting to hang onto in the corners!

“Overall, a fantastic weekend to end the year on! The brakes were incredible, and even with lots of heavy braking zones, the RP-X™ pads and EBC fluid never showed any hint of fade!

“Huge thanks once again to EBC Brakes and Fulvia Classics for all the support this year.”

RP-1™ Track/Race Pads

EBC Brakes Racing’s dedicated motorsport pad RP-1™ pairs high-performance with unprecedented modulation and control, resulting in a track pad that feels uniquely different to the competition and allows drivers to extract every last tenth from each and every braking zone.

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RP-X™ Track/Race Pads

Following the hugely successful launch of RP-1™, EBC Brakes Racing increases its motorsport brake pad range with the introduction of its latest ultra-high-performance track & race material, RP-X™. Possessing a high friction level and a 100% brake effect from cold.

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