Thursday, 4 January 2018

2017 Academy to 2018 Roadsport Upgrade

So with the 2017 season (and year) well and truly over, it's time to crack on with my plans for 2018 - which is to challenge for the title of the 2018 Caterham Roadsport Championship.

The first thing to do was to upgrade the car, I could've done this myself, but decided to get DPR Motorsport to do the upgrades on my behalf.

The upgrades are as follows in order of (in my opinion):-
1. Tyres
I think this must be the most eagerly anticipated upgrade from by every Caterham Academy driver... Some decent tyres!  The Academy Avon CR322's are replaced with AVON ZZS tyres, and the due to the decreased height of the sidewalls the wing-stays are lowered too. 
Tyres upgraded to AVON ZZS
Tyres upgraded to AVON ZZS
2. Brake Master Cylinder
The 2nd most 'wanted' upgrade as an Academy driver is a better brake master cylinder.  Made by AP Racing, the upgraded master cylinder means less air gets into the system, meaning less time bleeding brakes!
The upgraded A.P. Racing brake master cylinder
The upgraded A.P. Racing brake master cylinder
3. Brake Pads and Bias Valve
The brake pad material is 'free' in terms of the Roadsport regulations, so you can fit whatever spec front and rear compounds you like.  There is also an option to fit a brake bias valve too to adjust the brake balance front / rear.
Newly fitted A.P. Racing Brake Bias Valve
Newly fitted A.P. Racing Brake Bias Valve
4. Rear Anti-Roll Bar
In Roadsport spec you are also allowed to use a rear anti-roll bar too!
Rear anti roll bar fitted to my 2018 Caterham Roadsport car
Rear anti roll bar fitted to my 2018 Caterham Roadsport car
5. Setup CheckAfter fitting a number of geometry adjusting parts, it's also worth getting the alignment checked so this was done, and the car was delivered back to me.
2018 Caterham Roadsport having the setup checked
2018 Caterham Roadsport having the setup checked
A bit of fun:-
A few track day pics of the Roadsport spec car below, instantly you can see it looks much more aggressive and a lot lower / stiffer too.  First driving impressions are increased grip, stability and cornering speed and I LOVE it!  It's like a different car, and can be driven with inch precision accuracy which really helps with getting consistent clean laps in and that all important lap time down!
me (Daniel French) driving my 2018 Caterham Roadsport at Donington Park
me (Daniel French) driving my 2018 Caterham Roadsport at Donington Park
me (Daniel French) driving my 2018 Caterham Roadsport at Brands Hatch
me (Daniel French) driving my 2018 Caterham Roadsport at Brands Hatch
It seems as though I've picked up some sort of leak in my radiator, so will fit a new one over the next few days and then start back with the testing middle of Jan.

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