[200q20v] Watkins Glen Brakes and Preparation

packley packley at bellatlantic.net
Fri Aug 10 09:21:44 EDT 2001

Phil Rose, great to hear you are going to be at WG this year.

I just returned from there three weeks ago,  Steve Earley and Art Mayhew run
a great event.

The Glen is a tremendously fast momentum course, I was driving modified
Porsche 930 and hitting high 140's, low 150's on long back straight.

Brakes are tortured at this track, and I was instructing others and checked
students brakes carefully.

A 1.8T with new pads and slotted rotors was black-flagged because pads
appeared "on fire " but evidently it was the glue of new pads igniting.
They cleared out later.

I have driven my 91 Avant at WG, found 130's on back straight, and would
used a COMPLETE set of pads in two days.  Actually,  I had to change,
because if you use 1/2 of your pads the first day, you will consume more
than that the second, which = metal to metal!

The Avant has G60's that were slotted and drilled.  Contrary to all the
adverse comments about drilled rotors, I have never had problems with
properly drilled rotors, and the 930 rotors are drilled, not cast in place
as everyone used to think, but then again, Porsche has been making these
rotors for over 25 years, so changes in production may take place.

I used two sets of Metalmaster pads!  I would recommend the best pads you
can get-Pagid is expensive, but they work, Hawk, and Porterfields are good.
I do not intend to cause a string of comments other than Audi brakes are
awful for track use.

Use the best pad you can get, you will work them hard.

Put the new pads on now, use them all you can, break them in.  The worst
thing you can do is put new pads on without properly breaking them in.  AP
recommends easy break in, and use old pads on new rotors. Here is what they
say: http://www.apracing.com/car/brakedisc/bedding.htm

Follow this URL to a site with most all of the performance brake


Also consider cryo treating your rotors. Paul Weston is a good source for
brakes and rotor upgrades including the cryo treatment.

As to long straights to cool your brakes off, I suppose yes, but then you
have to slow down after those long straights!

I am always surprised that the die-hards mention UFO's notwithstanding that
you do not just change from calipers to UFO's.

Why would you?  Pads and proper rotors will cool better than UFO's.  Problem
is not stopping ability, it is warpage from cooked braking surface.  Isn't
that the main failing of the UFO?

What UFO was used in racing applications?

Sorry Bernie, I suppose pushrod engines and SU carbs are in the same
category, but rather than support the trick for 15" wheels and the 15%
increase in braking efficiency, sooner or later several things happen:

You buy track tires and rims, this upgrade will have you enjoy the benefit
of better 16" or 17"tire selection than you can get from 15" that just are
not adequate for a 2 ton car (I do recognize those BBS rims are almost
great, light, etc, but only 15"

Then you will realize that you will do better with a DOT track tire like a
Toyo Proxes RA1 than a street tire, but the club rules do not allow certain
drivers to use these.  Outer edges of street tires wear out fast, new tread
squirms and chunks, from heat build-up.  You will need to constantly check
tire pressures and wheel torque.  Terrific tire pressure buildup, as the
track will work the tires hard.

Brake upgrade from Bira, etc.

Read Stoptechs page, it is chock full of good information:

Although I would prefer using Brembo rather than this system, as caliper
rigidity is not something to worry excessively with a street car.  And
Porsche rotors are well manufactured.

Tom at Euro Car Service is quite knowledgable and offers the best priced kit
I have seen:

Go for the 993TT calipers as it is marginally more expensive than the
Monobloc and much more capable.

Paul Rivera's article is informative:

My 1996 S6 uses the Euro S8 323x30mm rotors and while they are as big as
most Brembo conversions, I found they were marginal for fast tracks like VIR
and the Glen.  Again, get the best pads you can, unfortunately for me, there
are no aftermarket pads available for this rare combination.

You are smart changing the brake hoses, and just replacing old hoses is good
insurance.  I prefer DOT rated SS, but factory works also.

Prepare to have fun at the Glen, and the more prepared your brakes tires,
rim combination is the less you will have to tend to those deficiencies.

Bring your Rain-X and new wipers, it can rain when you least expect it at
the Glen.

See you soon.

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