VIDEO: How REAL NASCAR Brakes Are Made

Next week, NASCAR will start the 2015 season at Daytona. The next few weeks will be filled with testing, practice and qualifying. Stopping these cars will be not your off-the-shelf pads from your local retail parts store. The pads they will be using are specific for the high-speed ovals.

Brakes will not be used much during green flag racing, but they needed to warm up fast to avoid “the big one” and haul the cars down from racing speeds to pit lane speeds.

To do this requires a special type of caliper and pad. Most of the cars will be using a four piston caliper in the front and a two piston caliper in the rear. These calipers are extremely light weight to reduce unsprung mass and ultimately improve handling.

The pads are also light weight. They are typically thinner than a pad they might run at a shorter track. But, they also have to be able to go from a low temperature to an extremely temperature in a second. These types of mechanical and thermal shock would shear the friction material off most brake pads.

To keep the material on the pad a large percentage of the cars will have backing plates with the NUCAP Retention System or NRS. This mechanical retention system uses small hooks on the backing plate that bite into the friction material. Also, there are no holes in the plate so the pedal will be stiffer.

During qualifying, some teams would minimize brake drag by pushing the pads as far back into the caliper as possible. Some have even used zip tie to secure the pad in the caliper. This is why you will hear some crew chiefs over the radio tell the drive to pump the brakes after their run is finished.

RECALL: BMW Recalls 9,000 Vehicles Due To Faulty Brakes

BMW has issued a recall for nearly 9,000 vehicles in North America with brake vacuum pumps that can fail, causing the car to lose braking power and functionality.

According to reports, the recall scheduled for this month affects select vehicles of the following models:

2014 BMW 328i xDrive Sports Wagon

2012-’14 BMW 320i Sedan, 328i Sedan, 320i xDrive Sedan and 328i xDrive Sedan

2012-’13 BMW 528i Sedan and 528i xDrive Sedan

2013-’14 BMW X1 sDrive28i and X1 xDrive28i Sports Activity Vehicle

2013-’14 BMW X3 xDrive28i Sports Activity Vehicle

2012-’14 BMW Z4 sDrive28i Roadster

2014 BMW 428i Coupe and 428i xDrive Coupe

Vacuum pumps in the vehicles can fail due to “insufficient lubrication,” according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Affected owners can take their vehicles into BMW dealerships for a repair free of charge, which will involve putting “a locking ring in the camshaft to retain the camshaft seal disk in the proper location,” the NHTSA said in a statement.

The announcement is said to expand on an earlier BMW recall for vehicles with problematic braking systems.

In affected models, the braking system is still operational, but the amount of pedal pressure required to stop the vehicle will be “significantly greater,” BMW said in a press statement at the time. The brake-related recall for 2012-’14 320i and 328i sedans in the U.S was part of a larger global campaign to repair 176,000 vehicles.

This 2014 328i xDrive Sports Wagon is included in the recall. (Photo : BMW)

This 2014 328i xDrive Sports Wagon is included in the recall. (Photo : BMW)


VIDEO: On-Board Brake Pad Change from Bathurst

This is from the 2005 Bathurst 1,000 and shows how fast a team can change a set of brake pads. Some teams will even change the rotor during the race.

Bathurst is truly one of those bucket list races for true race fans. Legend has it that some fans will sneak out to the track a month before the race and bury beer in the ground (you are only allowed to bring so much beer on race weekend) so they will not run out during the race.

VIDEO POV: Brake Failure Causes Crash At Circuit Of Americas

Although the Circuit Of Americas has only been around for two years, the race suffered its worst crash since inception last week due to one of the race cars being struck by brake failure.

According to sources, the driver, Tim Bell, who was driving a Nissan 370Z, was positioned at 10th in the beginning of the race, but unfortunately was unable to even make it through the first lap before the unexpected happened.

The video below shows Bell veering left to barely miss a Camaro before ultimately flying into the asphalt runoff and sand trap. The car hit the barrier in the middle of a sideways slide, but fortunately the car, the track and the safety crew all worked flawlessly as intended to keep Bell out of harms way.

On his Facebook page, Bell said: “Well that didn’t go as planned…. [Had] a complete brake failure at the end of the back straight entering at a 154mph…. Hit the wall at 136, according to the data… Thank you for everyone’s support and for the quick response of the medical crew…. Sucks that it happened but I’m blessed to walk away!

It will be interesting to see what changes are made to the track or vehicular inspection protocol following this horrific incident. The COTA track is also home to the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, MotoGP, Formula 1 and Australian V8 Supercars.

Check out POV video of the gruesome crash!

Journalist Rants About Carbon Ceramic Brakes on Press Vehicle

PICT0032I was once given press fleet vehicles to review for a magazine I wrote for. I was young and stupid, but most of all I feared if I wrote something too negative I would be taken off the list. I was getting a free car for the week that was worth more than what I made in a year. But, there are some journalist who go out on a limb and complain.

I just finished a week in a $177,000 2014 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, the German sports-car maker’s top-of-the-line, super-fast twin-turbo V-8-powered SUV. It’s a remarkable machine — sleek, ridiculously quick, crazy expensive and possessed of one quality that drove everybody who rode in the machine absolutely nuts. The brakes squealed like a poorly maintained diesel city bus.”


This is what’s Aaron Bragman wrote about the Carbon Ceramic brakes on the Cayenne he was reviewing. This brake package has the fancy yellow calipers and is a more than $8,000 option. Bragman questions the logic of offering these as an option on luxury vehicles that may never see the race track.

The noise made every stopping event more about figuring out how to modulate the brakes to prevent noise instead of enjoying the amazingly firm and fade-free properties of the huge stoppers. That’s not an attribute any car should have let alone a new six-figure one.

I would hate to explain to a wealthy owner that ticking all the option boxes on a vehicle caused him to make for “less” of a vehicle that did not meet his expectation. But it seems that more and more six-figure cars and SUVs are offering this as an upgrade like Jaguar, Maserati and Chevy.

Read the Full Review  

F1 Brake Failure: Brake By Wire Explained

Brake Failure and F1 are on a fast track to being synonymous in the Formula One world. It seems as though every race is not being decided by wit and skill, but instead by whose brakes will last the longest before crossing the white flag.

But why does this keep occurring? Isn’t the point of implementing new technology into F1 supposed to benefit drivers?

Before you can critique the system you must know how it works.

Probably the simplest explanation of the new brake by wire system as defined by RacecarEngineering is as follows: When the driver hits the brake it is not just the carbon brake discs and pads that slows the car down on a 2014 car, the energy recover system also does a significant amount too, kind of like engine braking but with a much stronger effect. This means that the drivers left pedal (F1 cars have no clutch pedal) is no longer linked directly to the rear brakes, but instead it is linked to a computer which then controls the rear brakes. The front brakes continue to operate in the same way as they always have done.

The primary reason for this is that rules state that a car is only allowed to recover a certain amount of energy per lap from the rear brakes (it does not recover from the fronts), and there is only a finite amount of total energy that can be stored in the battery. When reaching either of these limits, the ERS stops recovering energy and the braking effect is lost and the traditional brakes take over. But for the driver, it i

The semi active BBW system is designed to stop that from happening and automatically balance the conventional brakes with the ERS braking. But, getting that to work properly is currently a substantial problem for numerous amounts of teams including Lotus. “The biggest problems are how the chassis works with the power unit and how the energy recovery system works. So there are some inconsistencies there which are making it very difficult for the driver to predict what he is going to get when he arrives at the corner” Technical Director Nick Chester admitted. “So the system is not doing exactly the same thing every time and that is disturbing the driver and losing us a lot of time.”s important to retain the brake feeling otherwise when he hits the pedal he is never quite sure what will happen next. Imagine driving down a steep hill in a low gear using the only engine braking to slow you down, then suddenly that braking effect stops it makes the car almost impossible to drive smoothly.

The brake by wire system may possess some flaws, but when tweaked correctly, it could mean a whole new ball game for Formula One fans all over the world. It will take some time, that’s for sure, but with success, it could be revolutionary to the sport. Only time will tell what the BBW system has in store for F1, but right now, all we can do is wait and find out.