Not a post I am super proud to share. But this is a journal so with the good must come with the bad.
This past Monday we hit up Area 27, a high speed technical track in the Okanagan valley.
The entire trip up I couldn't shake a sinking feeling that something wasn't gonna go right at this event, and well it materialized itself. The track day started super early and I didn't get any sleep. Gates at 7am, up at 6:30am (I am not a morning person). Advanced group was first on track immediately after the driver's meeting and was in a rush to get the car prepped and all gear sorted.
We got out onto the track and 3 laps in I got an overheating warning and immediately cooled down and exited the track. Oil temps hit 140C despite an ambient temperature of ~20C (it went up to >35C later in the day). Ok, I forgot to take off my tow hook plate and was creating negative pressure, stalling the air around the aux radiator. Removed it, did a few hot laps with the novice group and everything's happy.
I hop on for the 2nd advanced group session. Immediately something felt wrong: the braking was inconsistent and was impossible to threshold brake, or just brake hard in general. The pads I am running, Ferodo DS1.11, brake hard and wear very minimally. I had 70% life on them when I left home to drive to the track. In one hard braking zone I literally felt the pedal drop about 1/2 way with almost no resistance, which I thought was just hot brake fluid but again, not something that really has ever happened given the brand new brake fluid I put in a few days prior. I cooled down, completed the session and parked in the pits.
My friend made a comment that there's a lot of ash/metal flakes falling out of my calipers and piled up under my front right wheel. I joke that yeah, it happens, damn dusty pads. Then looking closer the fucking pad was metal on metal and the rotor was scored/etched in a really nasty way. Not good!!!
I managed to find a fresh set of street pads at the Lordco down the road, and proceeded to swap the pads. What we found there looks like the pads literally disintegrated, and that the one turn where the pedal just kept dropping was likely the pads completely breaking apart. The pistons are in horrible shape and took try bars and a lot of leverage to retract enough to put the shitty street pads in: they've knackered. The pads I took off look like they were falling apart, and tapered, which was something I've never seen pads on this brake system do before, so that may indicate part of the problem.
Again, these had 70% life before the track day and the current hypothesis is that the pistons were getting stickier and stickier, dragging on the pad and with area 27 being so high speed they just exited chat. Other hypotheses/opinions welcomed.
The rotor also expanded and made contact to the inside of the caliper with metal/paint transfer on the caliper and outside of the ring (no pics). The whole front brake system is getting rebuilt, with fresh rotors and also a thorough inspection of everything that got extra crispy in the wheel wells happening.
So yeah, super anxious the whole way home and any small noise or odd feeling was stress inducing but I made it home safely. Parts are ordered and checking the car in for rebuild/inspection ASAP. Glad to be home in one piece.