This story originally appeared in SportsCar magazine's June 2013 issue. SportsCar is the official publication of the Sports Car Club of America. www.scca.com.
As racers, we ask a lot of cars that were never designed for any type of competition. We push them to extremes that the designers and engineers who developed them likely never envisioned. This fact is never held truer, than in the case of a car's brakes. From being caked with dirt and gravel in RallyCross to stopping on a dime in Solo to the repeated abuse of high-speed braking in a Club race, we often ask the impossible from our braking systems.
While many SCCA classes require the use of OE braking system components, the pads are universally “open.” When it comes to selecting brake pads, it is typically a simple affair; brake pad manufacturers often detail what each pad compound is designed for on their websites, and some, like www.hawkperformance. com, even offer a parts selector that shows you specific fitments.
However, with so many different cars on the market, you may find the specific pad compound in the fitment you want is not available off the shelf. We ran into this challenge with our project H Production Toyota Yaris back in 2010. While there were some brake pads available, none of the choices met our performance goals. For instance, Hawk offers an HPS fitment for the Yaris – which would be perfectly suitable for street duty or Solo – but would not be a good choice for Club Racing.
We eventually reached out to Edwin Mangune, Motorsports Sales Manger for Hawk Performance, about our problem. Unfortunately – and not surprisingly – we found out that due to low demand, the Yaris was not on the radar for a race-specific brake compound, and Hawk did not make custom pad runs for individuals.
“I wish we did [offer custom pads], but the answer is no,” says Mangune, who was more than happy to solve our problem in another way. “I have one shop that I am confident with: Porterfield Enterprises.”
Porterfield Enterprises, which is a Hawk dealer, has the ability to modify an existing brake pad to fit other applications. Having this done is actually easier and less expensive than you might expect.
The road to custom brake pads often starts with the Friction Materials Sta ndards Institute (FMSI) number. Most every vehicle's brake pad shape or fitment will have a standardized FMSI number on it, making it possible to cross reference them.
Hawk has such a cross-reference sheet available on its Website at hawkperformance.com. Once you have located the FMSI number for your application, you will be able to find your pad shape and dimensions. From the list, you can pick a donor pad that is a good candidate for trimming down to fit your caliper – but if you have any doubts about selecting the proper donor, it's a good idea to contact Hawk for guidance. Once you have a suitable donor brake pad, a dealer like Porterfield will be able to get you back on track with the stopping power you're looking for.
Search for brake pads here.
Brembo Hawk Performance Pagid
www.brembo.com www.hawkperformance.com www.pagidracing.com
(704) 799-0530 (800) 542-0972 (239) 540-1729
PFC Brakes Porterfield Brakes Wilwood Brakes
www.pfcbrakes.com www.racebrakes.com www.wilwood.com
(800) 521-8874 (949) 548-4470 (805) 388-1188