Following on from the beating I’d given the tyres at Castle Combe a few weeks back, the guys from Falken Tyres got in touch to see if I would like to try some new Falken Azenis FK453s, their latest top-of-the-range, ultra high-performance tyres, on RF03.
A set was duly dispatched which meant getting the four tyres into the car and off to my local tyre fitting station. With everything in the boot, the Scooby looked like those Dakar Rally vehicles with exposed spare wheels and tyres strapped to the back.
With the old boots off it was obvious that something wasn’t quite right with the front suspension as the wear on was all on the outside edge of the tyre. By contrast the middle and inside of the tread was still perfectly fine. Another job to add to the list, which also included replacing the front brake pads as the tyre fitter advised that there wasn’t much meat on them. So far this track day lark is having an effect on the Scooby…
While deciding which route to take for replacement brake pads, I discovered EBC Yellow Stuff seem quite popular on the forums, as do Carbon Lorraine discs. So CL brakes have now been fitted, but for the moment standard pads are in place.
Of course, the most sensible thing to do would be to fit bigger Brembo calipers from the STi model. But I have been told they don’t sit behind the standard 17-inch wheels, so I would need to fit a bigger wheel which would need bigger tyres. And as the Falkens are still lovely and new the last thing I want to do is start the whole tyre process again.
While I haven’t managed to fit in another track day since Combe, RF03 has been busy on its day job ferrying the kids around and taking me to work and back. The car feels more planted on its new rubber and the pads have bedded in, so I’ve been taking the back roads home more often. Running the burbling boxer motor to the red line in third and fourth gear is way more interesting than sitting on the motorway for miles at a time. Especially when the standard stereo struggles to be heard over the road and exhaust note.
By Dai Davies