Oulton Park killed my brakes/tyres

I did my first track day earlier this month at Oulton Park, and while I was not expecting a great deal in straight line performance from my MK1 I had hoped that the rest of the car was “sorted.”

Bilstein shocks that feel really firm on the road-felt like a big fat wobbley jelly on the track

New OE disc’s/Axxis pads all round and Motul fluid, stop you on a penny on the road-started to fade by lap 4

Toyo TR1s tyres that stick like glue on the road-became a ball of slippy snot on the track


Was I asking to much from my set up, or is there really such a big gap between road and track?

Any ideas on how to improve things, has anybody tried 3G disc’s

Will R888 make a big difference?

I know I need to change my suspension but haven’t decided to what yet, but I had already fitted nylon bushes and had an alignment done.

Any views/comments gratefully received.





Just try to understand the difference in driving styles

Oulton park is Hard on brakes and if your suspension is top notch it will feel “off”

I put my standard pads down to the backing plate the first time I went.[:$]

Just remeber that what you probally have is a fast road /Track car not an out and out striped track beast…Its a compromise

The surface at oulton park is very smooth and this plays havoc with your tyres ,giving lots of grip at expense of wear.

Going from a corner/chicane at @50mph then banging it upto 90-95 on the straights onlt to stomp on the brakes to get you down to 50 for the next corner is going to shred your brakes.


My setup is  for fast road + some trackdays

Gaz shocks - 16" Federal 595’s tyres - standard discs + red stuff pads - standard engine  - full wheel geometry - original Bushes

 It could be harder on suspension but would compromise handling on the road…And I cant be bothered to change the dampers…


Dont forget you will be Closer to your cars limits on the track and this is what can make it feel Twitchy

your set up  seems Ok just try a few more events + maybe a Mazda On Track sprint day to get a true feeling of the cars ability.





 I’ve only ever driven Oulton in a Porsche but my experience is that a well maintained, fairly standard MX5 is fine on any trackday I’ve done (I’ve driven numerous UK circuits in my MX-5).
Standard brake discs are well up to the job (at least on 1.8 cars) and I have used Axxis Ultimates (not the cheapy ones) pads on numerous trackdays and in competition without any problems.
Standard suspension (even Bilsteins) is a bit soft but this is easily and fairly cheaply remedied with uprated anti-roll bars. But don;t confuse body roll with lack of grip - the MX-5 has a great suspension design which can handle a fair amount of roll. If you want to spend more dosh and have better control, get some adjustable dampers and stiffer spings or a ‘coilover’ setup like the Gaz or P5 Puredrive.
As for tyres, T1-R are pretty good on track once they are worn down to about 3-4mm but you need to get the pressures right. When new, they are rubbish! I’ve run Goodyear Eagle F1, Toyo T1-R, Marangoni Zeta Linea and Toyo R888 this year.  I can’t decide which are best! [^o)]
Toyo R888 are much stickier and you would notice a substantial difference in grip over T1-R but it comes at a high cost because they don’t last long! If money is no problem, by all means get the track tyres.

I have just done Oulton. here are my thoughts. I put new good quality standard 1.8 brake discs all round with EBC green stuff pads, new brake fluid. Very good pedel and no fade. So maybe a pad change for you will do. I have the Toyo T1R, as you say great for road but not for hard track driving, especially in the dry. I have been recomended the Fendral S595 or track tyres Federal 595RS again down to budget. My shocks and springs are standard, off a car with aprox 80k on so pretty worn, and they showed it. Just ordered a kit from P5 with mk2 top mounts, adjustable shocks, spring platforms and 10% uprated springs should sort that side of things. as they say ‘Power is nothing without control’
ps which is your car? any pics? where are you from?

I think Alan has said it mainly, unless your car is specificly set up for track days there has to be a compromise somewhere. My car is a bog standard 1.8 mk2 and I still managed to see off a couple of the other guys although I was on the limit most of the time but at least I knew its limits and only got a bit twitchy once when Alan was up my backside in the last session[:D], my brakes are now shot after two track days in the last couple of months so next on the cards is some grooved discs with green stuff pads and a geometry set up and possibly lowered springs. One thing I did find was that 2nd gear was not long enough especially in the chicanes, would be interesting to know if anyone else found that the case and does anyone know of anyone doing different gear ratio,s for the MX box



I’ve got some bigger rolling diameter tyres on some spare wheels that I’ve used to tweak gearing higher for specific tracks, and you could do the same thing with low profile tyres on 14" wheels for lower gearing - much cheaper than modding the gearbox and easier to change too.

That’s interesting – I had a go round Oulton a few weeks ago and don’t remember using 2nd gear at any point. I’d be interested to hear about other people.

I did use 2nd, but once I got to know the track 3rd was possible in the hairpins and chicanes. my car is a 1.8 so had enought power to pull out in 3rd.

I tried 3rd a few times in the chicanes but found I had to go in pretty quick to keep the revs up mines a 1.8 mk2 with no mods whatsoever so I would think its a confidence thing the trouble was that in 2nd I was hitting the rev limiter coming out , I think that was a case of concentrate on

steering it and forgetting to change gear, ho hum more practice needed!!      




Video on Motorsport  events forum if anyones interested also on utube (mx5 Oulton Park) My mx5 avi

link to video site please

uk.utube.com/user/mikpark91 is not pasting for some reason but link is on The circuit ,motor sport events, oulton park 2nd post



http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Nn-59p_A0M0 try this


Thats got it

Yes, 3rd+4th was all I used although the supercharger does help the 1.8 pull out from the tighter corners[;)]

Things are a little in the air at the moment as I may be doing a deal with my RX7 with a more focused track car, if this happens I can return the MX back to where I feel she really belongs, fast A/B roads and maybe the odd run TOO the track but not around it[:D]



I also use 2nd gear for the chicanes (especialy hislops at the bottom of clay hill) as 3rd gear strugles to pull you up knickerbrook

Yes you do have to snatch 3rd straight away on the exit of the right hander

but you are in the power band as soon as you change for the climb up.

of course if you have FI you can do the whole course in 3rd gear quite easily

standard discs and uprated pads are what ive been told is the best compromise between cost and performance

as slotted or grooved discs “scrub” the pads and wear them faster.

shocks - tyres - brakes 1st

as many trackdays / sprints as you can 2nd

big power 3rd

learn to handle the car before pushing the power up!



Thanks for responses to my query about gear usage – looks like it’s FI that makes the difference (as might be expected I guess). Glad to know I wasn’t doing something horribly wrong [:D]

Just to give you my 2p…

 I love track days and do a couple of trips to the ring a year.

 Tyres have been the biggest factor that i have changed on a regular basis and have had mixed results 

My preference for track are Federal 595RS and the Toyo R888 (Just becareful in the wet cold conditions atm)

If you want something more of a mix go for a Hankook RS2,  camskill have them back instock now.

As a general tyre tho’ the T1R is a good tyre, but as someone previously mentioned when the are new they are not great! They need to scrub in for a few thousand and they become better.


Also redo all your brake fluid with some good stuff!

And get some EBC Yellow Stuff Pads all round, I get no brake fade, even after 30+ Mins out on track giving it some!


And YES  Forced Induction makes all the difference!  I LOVE IT… my MX5 is a gaint killer!



Standard suspension

Not standard suspension


You will wear brakes on a track day, if you think that you are performing several emergency stops each and every lap then you can understand why. However both Green and Red stuff will break up under such hard and repeated use as they are not designed for that level of high use.


The reason you don’t use Green Stuff for the track