Pre-race testing in Caterham Fireblade – Pan Delta Racing Festival Summer 2011
Caterham has always been a special manufacturer. Some say stubborn, but it’s for a good reason. The car I’m testing here is the Caterham Super 7 with a Fireblade (Honda Bike) 990cc engine. It pushes out 140bhp at 10,500rpm. I also tested the R500 which had a 230bhp Zetec engine, they felt like two totally different cars, but for the subject matter, let’s focus on the Fireblade.
So why is the Caterham special, first it’s a kit car, meaning that the car’s design is simple, and it’s possible for you to put together at your home garage (more realistically if you have no wife or friends). The car is does not have complex manufacturing methods, that only a swamp of robots is able to make it. The most important thing is that its super light, the car was around 500kg with the driver accounted for.
It really is a no compromise design, there are no creature comfort features, just a bare cockpit with dials, a gear stick and some pedals at your feet. Atop of you is an absolute open sky, it’s the closest you get from a Formula car.
To many surprise the car Is not hard to handle, it’s rather forgiving at the limit, for can feel the car trying to break the traction and yet you don’t need lighting quick reactions to catch your hanging out ass. Everything feels quite intuitive, it actually came quite natural to me to put it right on the limit, I think it’s one of the easier car that I’ve driven.
Even though I felt at ease with the car, it really did hit all the right buttons at firing up my passion, with rev’s climbing to 12,000 RPM squiring for the up-shift, you flick off the throttle hit the shifter and wave of fury in its roar drives you back to the redline again. Now that’s the essence of driving, pure and bloody simple…
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