Oulton Park trackday

Evo at oulton park Evo corneringWith an Oulton Park trackday booked, I was looking forward to thrashing my Peugeot 106 GTi round, But as luck would have it, the clutch parts I needed from Peugeot were delayed. So with the Evo now being called upon as the track tool of choice, we made our way to Oulton Park circuit in to find an enourmous tree blocking the entrance. The previous night’s gales had brought it down overnight (not to mention plunged the local area into darkness as it caused a power cut)

We attended the briefing at the track with the weather very cold and windy but dry. The wheels were quickly swapped over to the set of track wheels I’d bought recently for a bargain £200 with Toyo R888 semi slick tyres.

I let my brother do all the sighting laps as, having never done a trackday before, and never driven anything more powerful than a 1.2 litre Clio, he needed all the track time possible to get familiar with the car and track.

Sighting laps done I queued up and took the Evo out. I took it nice and easy warming up the tyres, and the temps, then upped the pace a little, trying to learn the lines and keeping pace with a Honda S2000. After a few laps I upped the pace, and was really impressed with the Evo’s track ability.

After an intense 5 or 6 laps leading then following a friend in his awesome 306 GTi-6 track car, the brake pedal got longer and longer, and then the brakes disappeared completely! I slowed the car using the gears and kept pumping the pedal but got nothing! I managed to slow down enough to pootle back to the pits but its a scary feeling when the brake pedal does absolutely nothing to stop the car. It turns out I’d boiled the brake fluid, which in hindsight, I should have been prepared for; With the Evo being a relatively heavy car and having no idea when the fluid was last changed I should have changed it before the day.

We let the car cool down and took it for a test round the car park. The pedal was very long, as obviously air was now in the system from the fluid boiling, but the brakes did work ok.

We decided to limit it to 2 or 3 laps on track and went out with my brother who did really well for a 19 year old with no experience of fast cars or track driving. Oulton Park is such an interesting track, one of the best in the country, in my opinion with some great technical corners, fast straights and chicanes.

All in all for a car on standard suspension with road brakes, the car did very well, you could feel the AYC doing its thing out of corners. We caught a couple of M3s without too much trouble and although we weren’t out for that many sessions we didn’t get overtaken all day.

Compared to the 106 the Evo feels a lot heavier and not as nimble, but you can really take it by the scruff of the neck and push it hard, and it responds so well. Now all I need is a set of coilovers and some new brakes! My wallet’s gonna take a hammering!