Development of a performance car’s chassis setup is so often an evolutionary process. While it’s perfectly possible to order the ‘correct’ parts off-the-shelf and call it a day, the more elegant approach is to incrementally upgrade and establish a more experimental method in order to truly reap the benefits of tailoring the car to one’s own style.
Take the BMW M2 we see here, for example: a developing project by London-based R44 Performance, this car was until recently running the OE-spec M calipers with stock discs, working with upgraded race pads and EBC Brakes braided lines. Some issues were flagged with the performance of the discs at a recent track day, so the team decided to take the next step up to a set of EBC Brakes Racing Two-Piece Fully-Floating Discs. But before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s meet R44 Performance…
“We are specialists in all things performance and styling for BMW M models. We offer a variety of products from carbon fibre or ABS exterior aero parts to brakes and exhaust components. In addition to this, we like to provide a one-stop shop so that customers can have the means to spruce up their car interior, exterior and most importantly, the performance.
“Being a lover of all things automotive, company director Rhys has used his BMW M2 (N55) to fit a range of products from the R44 shelves to build the perfect fast road and track car. You’ll often find the R44 M2 on track days, or out on road trips with friends and customers – Rhys really makes sure to test the products he sells to their limits!”
The acid test for the floating discs was to drive the EBC-equipped M2 head-to-head on a track day with an M2 CS, running its factory carbon-ceramic brakes. The event, privately organised by Straight Six Track Days, allowed other drivers to ride in the R44 M2 and the M2 CS to draw their own conclusions and the consensus was that the EBC floating discs were more than a match for the factory carbon option. Indeed, R44’s analysis is overwhelmingly positive.
“Straight away, we knew we were onto something as we noticed an instant increase in brake bite and performance on our way to the track day.
“We used the sighting laps to get used to the bite, and from the off we started to put some heat into the discs. We kept the runs short at first and gave enough time for the discs to cool, to keep the temperature consistent as we didn’t want to put too much heat into them. After a few outings, we upped the heat and started turning some hot laps doing around twenty-minute runs and ten-minute breaks. And, wow! There was no fade or drop in performance, the brake feel was extremely consistent all day.”
The performance is undeniable, and the R44 team are keen to highlight the correct protocols: de-greasing the new discs with brake cleaner before fitting, and following the detailed brake-in process outlined in the EBC literature and the results speak volumes.
“We loved that our new EBC discs allowed us to leave the braking very late and then jump on them on full-pedal – for us, this is what made the product stand out on track the most. We think these discs are a must-have to get the most out of the stock BMW brake system.”