Yesterday I had the pleasure to meet Blade, Steve from PE and Droid and be taken around Donnington Park Race Circuit by Ed Moore a highly experienced professional racing driver at the wheel of Blade's Monster. What an experience! Not only is Blade's car the most balanced, well sorted Evo 6 I have ever been in, (it is also one of the fastest) In the hands of Ed Moore this car performed amazingly - I just laughed my head off for 6 laps as Ed braked later, and later and later into corners and just distroyed all in his path. On the track there was the usual gaggle of Lotus Elise, Exige, TVRs etc (Don't forget the old CRX Blade!) along with a well sorted, well driven GT3 and an even better sorted, well driven RSR, and a 550BHP Escort Cossy. The Lancer performed extremely well (I bet those Porsche's were ******!!) - The engine is a peach, the brakes never once showed any issues (I am now convinced AP is THE way to go, with the PE Air Duct Kits) and the suspension (the main reason for my trip) was very impressive. It was compliant, allowed you to really ride the rumble strips without unbalancing the car and minimized roll. Understeer has been greatly reduced and unlike the standard Evo 6 could be driven around . I am now coming to the conclusion that mild understeer is probably the best an Evo owner can hope for and is a trait of the marque (but no big deal when you have 350|PLS| BHP Engine to help correct this too!). More suspension and geometry tweaks may well improve this.
The car could be driven on the throttle, brakes or in the old fasioned method and never once misbehaved. I saw a lot of similarities in the approach PE have taken to building this car for Blade as how Ralliart have approached the E7 eXtreme S and it was reassuring that both these tuning houses have agreed independantly and without prior knowledge on the products that work best in building RELIABLE Super Lancers . Blade's car felt like the eXtreme S too, but better set up - Something only replacing the suspension on the Extreme S would fix to improve it for this application, although I don't think you could ever get close to the 1200KGs Blade's car must weigh (and I believe it!) starting with an E7.
Let's be clear however Blade's car has been designed solely for the track and no compromises have been made to allow for long sustained road use - (He has his M5 for that don't you M8!), whereas the E7 eXtreme S still has to bridge that some Road/ mostly Track compromise in standard delivered form.
Steve from PE was extremely knowledgeable, helpfull and keen to steer you away from making expensive mistakes and if he is representaitve of PE, which I am sure he is, then I would have no issue in letting them loose on my car or asking him for advice - Unfortunately for them, I have already gone another route which exceeds the needs for my application and have long standing, strong relationships with Ralliart - Each to their own.
One hell of a car Blade and a credit to you, PE and your Bank Account - Thanks for the invite!!
This underlined to me the quality of the Drummond kit (the reason for my trip) - Something that will be making it's way onto my car in the future and the value of track driving tuition, which I will also be looking into (get ready Ed!)
Thanks also to Droid for taking me around in his M3 - The best M car BMW have made to date and thankfully shares none of the same DNA with the previous Hairdresser mobile. Impressive drive m8!
What a day!!