There’s an old racer’s adage that says, “You can only go as fast as you can stop,” meaning that it doesn’t matter how fast or quick your car is if you can’t rein it in quickly and reliably afterward. That’s true in any realm of motorsports, but perhaps most in the world of autocross and road racing where high-performance braking is key to low lap times, or just keeping your car off the wall.

More than any other section of the aftermarket (with the exception of tire technology, because traction is always the true limiting factor) performance braking has made today’s level of serious professional racetrack performance possible. Those glowing orange rotors you see on American Le Mans (ALMS) cars entering a high-speed corner are marvels of modern material engineering since they’re able to endure ultrahigh temperatures and still function to slow the car. And the continual evolution in the Pro Touring world and the ever-increasing race car level power and handling capabilities of the cars has necessitated that braking technology follow suit as well.

…the ever-increasing race car level power and handling capabilities of the cars has necessitated that braking technology follow ...

So what does it take to engineer a high-level braking system from scratch? That’s the challenge we faced with Max Effort (our 1967 Mercury Cougar project car), since none of our chassis, suspension, or even pedal assemblies are stock derived, and our goals and expectations for performance are very high. Essentially, we had to evaluate Max Effort from all of the various angles that affect braking: weight distribution at rest, center of gravity height, wheelbase, rotor effective diameter, caliper piston diameter, pad friction coefficient, and tire traction coefficient. That’s a lot to think about, but it’s what you have to evaluate anytime you make changes to your car since alteration to any one parameter will change the overall calculation. While there are equations that can be used to compute hard numbers, it’s a bit academic. In reality, on the street and racetrack, those considerations will be used to get the right parts choices and the initial setup in the right ballpark; the rest will be based around the driver’s preferences during testing.

…Sire Custom Performance happens to be quite adept at building custom and race car brake systems from scratch…

How do you figure out what those parts are for your car? Consult an expert. We’ve done minor plumbing previously, but fortunately for us, Yannick Sire of Sire Custom Performance happens to be quite adept at building custom and race car brake systems from scratch, and has several under his belt, so we asked for his assistance in the design, layout, and installation of our Max Effort system.

SOURCE
Hawk Performance
6180 Cochran Rd.
Solon
OH  44139
800-542-0972
www.hawkperformance.com
Earl's Store #1 ANplumbing.com
15827 Hawthorne Blvd
Lawndale
CA  90260
310-542-0856
http://www.anplumbing.com/
Baer Brakes
Phoenix
AZ
602-233-1411
http://www.baer.com/
Eastwood Company
263 Shoemaker Road
Pottstown
PA  19464
800-343-9353
http://www.eastwood.com
Earl's Performance Plumbing
1801 Russellville Road
Bowling Green
KY  42101
866-464-6553
http://www.Holley.com
Sire Custom Performance
310-671-3430
http://www.sirecustomperformance
.com
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