Problem-Solving Race Brakes

PRI Magazine | May 2020


Stopping power can mean the difference between a podium and a DNF

This exclusive Q&A offers expert solutions and practical advice for optimizing brake system performance.

By Bradley Iger, PRI Magazine, May 2020

When it comes to performance, horsepower tends to lead the headlines. But in the context of motorsports, all the power in the world isn't worth much if you can't effectively and consistently slow down.

"If you're used to braking at marker three for particular turn, and halfway through the race you go to pass someone in that braking zone and the system isn't working like it did at the start of the race, you might find yourself in the weeds," noted Edwin Mangune of Hawk Performance, Solon, Ohio. "Or maybe you won't try to pass at all. When a driver notices that the brakes aren't responding consistently, confidence tends to go down."


And as power levels continue to rise, the burden put on the braking system to scrub all that speed has gone up in turn. "Using dirt late models as an example, there have been huge advancements in power and the sustpensionsystems over the pas decade or so," said Travis Grouch of Grouch Performance Solutions, Chanhassen, Minnesota. "But they're still using older style brake systems. While that might have worked great a few years ago, when you've got more power, you're going faster, and running harder for longer amounts of time, the brake systems can't keep up. And drivers are having to change the way they drive to compensate for that."


From road surface and tire compound to race formats and chassis setup, there are myriad variables that can have an impact on the brake system performance of a certain car at a particular track. But at the fundamental level, there are still some common concerns and complications racers continue to grapple with as they demand more and more out of their brakes.

Continue reading more from Edwin Mangune and PRI - at