One of the key goals of our business is to provide no nonsense information to the MX5 community, we have a number of brake pads that we offer on our website all based on previous experience and recommendation from racers at the highest levels of the UK MX5 racing circuit, this is by no means a finished article and we will continue to add to it.
Often in the MX5 world the term used for choosing the appropriate brake pads are ‘Fast Road Pads’ and ‘Trackday Pads’, the old standard has always been EBC Yellowstuff as something that can provide a little dual duty.
Here in 2019 there have been considerable improvements to the friction materials brake pad manufacturers are using and we’ve selected a handful from our stockpile to test them in real world situations back to back, concentrating on how they feel to use as well as what they’re like to live with.
These pads are put through an extended wear cycle and heat cycle with attention taken to all the key areas of measurement out of 10, which are:
|Bite from Cold||Initial Bite||Low Dust||Fade Resistance|
|Temperature Capacity||Disc Life||Modulation||Stopping Power|
|Pad Life||Low Noise|
The pads are then measured after the wear cycle, dust is checked and using comparative data we check how they perform against each other, we then chuck this data into a fancy radar graph program to make it all easy to digest.
This pad is uncompromising, they are loud, eat cheap discs and throw sparks under heavy braking. Your fluid will fade and boil before these let go in our testing even on the hottest track days.
They deliver enough braking force to lock the wheels at 80mph on 195 AD08s yet you can modulate them so delicately before the initial bite and during the braking load. They are marketed as having ‘Dynamic Torque Control’ and while that sounds like marketing *ank, you can really understand what Hawk mean when using them.
While these frankly work amazingly on the road, they really should be a track only pad.
The yardstick for fast road pads for your MX5 for years and years, they offer OEM performance with the added value of the ceramic materials in the pad, giving them higher than average tolerance to heat. They work excellently as a fast road pad but their initial bite and tolerance to heat doesn’t make them a great entry level competition pad from our testing.
Roddisons ‘Rodders’ Performance Pads
These are a great introduction into a more track oriented brake pad, they do output a reasonable amount of dust taking them a little further away from a daily driver pad than the EBC or the Brembos but make up for it with increased stopping power and thermal tolerance.
For a car with NA power it’s quite unlikely you will experience much fade on track, however turbocharged cars may consider moving over to the DTC-30s and the demands of the braking system increase, a great all round pad that can do more than most.
Brembo Fast Road Pad – HP2001
Built by an OEM manufacturer specifically for fast road use, or as they say ‘Performance Oriented Street Use’.
This means that they’re designed with a high life, low dust and great cold performance in mind, being OEM equipment on many high performance street cars they need to take a fair beating and be able to manage the heat appropriately.
A very good all rounder that is more road biased than the rodders but can still hold its own on track, certainly with a naturally aspirated car.
Aggressive and uncompromising in a similar level of performance to the Hawk DTC-30s but without the modulation control, incredible initial bite and for the experienced racer who barely touches the brakes, they may well be a perfect fit.
Hopefully that gives you a little food for thought, there are many different compounds worth trying. If you’re running a boosted MX5 it’s highly recommended to move to something far more capable, the rodders being more the minimum we like to see on cars that intend to do any track work.
The likes of the hawks, you certainly get what you pay for but they are, as with any high performance pad, compromised for general road use.
We also appreciate that this list and these tests are our own opinions and they aren’t based around lap times, they are based on general usage, fast road and track time – it’s more about talking about how the pads are to use, how they feel and what you’re getting for your money.
When changing your pads over, look at the whole system – what fluid are you running? Have you upgraded your brake lines?
If the fluid can’t handle the heat then you wont get much more performance out of the whole system.