South Carolina-based Performance Friction Brakes is the latest key partner to join the DeltaWing program for next summer's 24 Hours of Le Mans. Like many components in the new DeltaWing design, Performance Friction has developed a specific package for the car's 2012 debut. With the front wheels of the car featuring only 4in. wide tires, the brakes for the front of the car required a unique packaging solution.
“We are very fortunate to work with key partners like Performance Friction Brakes,” said DeltaWing designer Ben Bowlby. “Like EMCO Gears, PFC is based in the U.S. and that has been very handy for us as we finalized the package and they began manufacture of the components. We didn't partner with PFC just because they are in the same country, though, we have joined forces because their products presented a unique solution for the car's braking.
“Unlike many traditional sports cars, we couldn't just take parts off the shelf that were being used by teams up and down pit lane. The front of the DeltaWing is extremely compact, so we had to be very creative with the packaging of the design to ensure adequate performance over 24 hours while keeping the component weights to a minimum. The car is unique in that 60 percent of the braking occurs at the rear wheels, but that doesn't mean we could ignore the front."
“Certainly the DeltaWing concept has shaken up the conventional thinking within the racing community,” agreed Darrick Dong, director of motorsports for Performance Friction. “PFC has approached the challenge as to how best to balance the DeltaWing's braking capacity and created quite a bucket list of achievable goals. We are excited to have come up with a quite unique and innovative carbon brake system.
“PFC's brake configuration is very advanced and forward thinking, utilizing shape optimized monobloc calipers featuring a patented pad retraction that was awarded the 2011 Most Innovative New Motorsport Product of the Year Award at the Race Tech World Motorsport Symposium. Coupled with the PFC zero drag brake calipers, PFC's carbon discs and pads are of a continuous strand fiber matrix. This technology is far advanced when compared to the demilitarized carbon products being used by many today. Like the DeltaWing, the PFC brake system has the potential of being a real game changer.”
The DeltaWing consortium has been awarded the 56th entry for next year's 24 Hours of Le Mans, which is reserved for exotic new technologies. The new car brings together the talents of Bowlby, two-time ALMS championship-winning race team Highcroft Racing; U.S. racing legend Dan Gurney and his All American Racer's organization, who will build the car and American Le Mans Series founder and key partner, Don Panoz.