V8 Supercars monitoring brake problems at Sydney test
V8 Supercars will be keeping a close eye on the performance of the Car of the Future’s brake package today following recent issues with the new control product.
Although the COTF vehicles feature bigger discs and calipers than that seen under the previous generation rules in a bid to reduce brake fade and therefore improve the potential for passing, recent reports of discs failing have caused concern.
The most noticeable incident occurred earlier this month at Queensland Raceway, where the shakedown of Erebus Motorsport’s second Mercedes-Benz ended with a brake-failure induced off-track excursion.
Triple Eight is also understood to have suffered a sizeable disc failure during its second Accredited Manufacturer day in November last year, while others have reported less dramatic surface cracking.
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Representatives of AP Racing, which has taken over from Alcon as the control suppler this year, are on hand at Sydney Motorsport Park this weekend.
Nicholas Bates, the general manager of AP importer Competition Friction, confirmed to Speedcafe.com that the company is still trying to understand the cause of the problems.
Dyno work is currently being undertaken at AP headquarters in the United Kingdom, although variables such as the three different pad options available to teams, the variety of bedding-in techniques employed and differing installation methods have reportedly proven difficult to account for.
Bates stressed that the company has devised a range of solutions that can be implemented prior to the season-opening Clipsal 500. A complete recall of the already supplied discs is not being ruled out.
Erebus Motorsport team manager David Stuart, meanwhile, says that he’s confident the problems will be solved.
“What we are doing as Erebus Motorsport V8 is working with the category and giving any information and assistance we can to AP to try and find a workable solution in the short time period we have,” he told Speedcafe.com. “I have every confidence that something will be sorted before Clipsal.”
Among the team to report no serious issues is Ford Performance Racing, whose four-car squad has completed more kilometres of pre-season testing than any other.
“We tried to simulate hot brake temps as best we could and haven’t seen any serious cracking, other than surface cracking,” FPR technical director Campbell Little told Speedcafe.com. “Our testing at Winton hasn’t highlighted any issues at all.
“We’ll watch it fairly carefully (today), but Eastern Creek hasn’t been a hard track on brakes in the past, and I can’t see anyone doing a lot of nose-to-tail running in any big packs.”
FPR is one of several teams to have previously used a water cooling system on its discs – a process banned under the COTF rules.
Twenty-five V8 Supercars will be on-track at Sydney Motorsport Park from 0900. The running will pause for 70 minutes from 1220 for a fan track walk, while double-file restart practice has been scheduled for 0230. Track action will finish at 1700.