On paper, fast estate cars really do seem to tick all the boxes for most driving enthusiasts out there. Acting as reliable load luggers during the working week, they then come to life when taken for a spirited drive or track day at the weekend.
Like anything that tries to perform more than one task well, these beasts do come with some potential drawbacks, however.
Take one to a track day, for example, and it’ll soon become apparent that you’re carrying a lot more weight around the circuit with you than most of the people you’re sharing the tarmac with. When driving hard and fast, this can put an incredible amount of force through the braking system, meaning you really need some quality braking components to get the most out of your sporty wagon.
This is something Belgium-based Diederik Demot knows only too well after carrying out some comprehensive track action with his 2010 Mercedes C63 AMG Estate recently. Diederik decided to test EBC Brakes Racing’s RP-1™ track/race pads on his car for his most recent two track days, with promising results, as he explains below.
“I decided to upgrade the car’s stock brake pads soon after purchasing it. They’re fine for the road, but when taken to the ‘Green Hell’ or on track days, the car’s weight soon means they get far too hot and start to underperform very quickly.
“I first went for EBC’s Yellowstuff pads, which I’ve enjoyed, but wanted to try the next step – RP-1™ – as they’re more track day-focused and I’ve heard a lot of good things about them.
“The first thing I noticed was just how well they perform at low speeds and when cold, which I wasn’t expecting. The bedding-in process is also great – there’s no need to drive hundreds of kilometres before they work properly, instead you just need to perform some stops from different speeds – something which can easily be done on the opening laps of a track day.
“The car was recently taken to both Spa-Francorchamps and the Nürburgring Nordschleife, where the brakes didn’t overheat once, despite the very heavy car and me using semi-slick tyres throughout.
“After 1800k and 18 laps of the ‘Ring, as well as a full track day at Spa, the pads worked perfectly until the very last millimetre.
“I will certainly use RP-1™ again – I think for the price they are hard to beat and they also didn’t eat my discs which other pads do – I have experience of this happening in the past. For track day/ring tools, these are the pads to go for!”
Thanks to Ollievision Photography for the images.