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Ferodo Racing DS3.12 Brake Pads: A New Benchmark for Control

Ferodo Racing DS3.12 Brake Pads: A New Benchmark for Control

by Jeff Ritter@ Essex

Coefficient of Friction and Maximum Operating Temperature

Any time you rub two objects against each other friction is generated. In this case we’re rubbing a semi-metallic brake pad against a spinning iron disc. Mu (μ) refers to the coefficient of friction of a pad compound. In simple terms, that means the amount of friction that exists between the brake pads and disc. The mu value for most brake pads falls within the 0.3 to 0.6 range. The closer a pad’s mu value is to zero, the less friction exists between the pad and disc. Pads with a low coefficient of friction are often described as feeling wooden, not having much bite or grab, or the driver feels like they must press the brake pedal with a lot of force to get the car to slow. Conversely, a pad with a mu value closer to one feels like it doesn’t require as much leg effort for the pad to ‘bite’ into the disc and slow the car. If the mu is too high however, the brakes may feel like a light switch. They’re either on or off, and difficult to control with varied pedal pressure (modulation). Breathing on them lightly or trail braking could prove difficult. The best pad compounds hit a sweet spot in terms of balancing pedal pressure and controllability.

What makes mu both interesting and complicated is that it changes constantly with temperature. The Holy Grail of brake pads would be a compound that has a perfectly flat mu curve across the entire temperature range from zero degrees to the highest temperature the pad would ever reach (for the typical HPDE driver or club racer that is approximately 1400°F). Such a pad would exhibit a linear response through the brake pedal, regardless of where and how it was being driven. From the driver’s perspective, that would mean every time they pressed the brake pedal with the same amount of force, the car would feel as if it slowed at the same rate. That consistent feedback loop would allow the driver to dial in their brain and leg to precisely control the car’s response. Each time they approached a turn, they would feel confident about how the car was going to react when they stepped on the brake pedal. When trying to shave a tenth of a second at every turn, one can imagine how valuable that would be!

Unfortunately, most pad materials have a narrow temperature window in which they generate a given amount of mu. Depending on the pad’s constituent materials, that temperature window may be what you experience when driving to the grocery store (street pads optimized for low temps), or it may be the temperatures you experience on Lap 6 at Watkins Glen (race pads optimized for high temps). To this day, no pad material exists that generates the same mu across its entire operating temperature range.

Pads also have a maximum operating temperature, which is the highest temperature at which the material can still generate friction. At some elevated temperature, any given pad is going to start burning more quickly, melting, vaporizing, etc. At that point it can no longer generate as much friction on the disc face, and its mu tapers towards zero. The brake pedal may still feel firm, but the car isn’t slowing at your anticipated rate because very little friction is being generated between the pad and disc. That is what is referred to as pad fade. In these situations, the pad can also stick to the disc face in globs, smear, and create high spots that cause judder and vibration. We frequently see this when people drive street pads on the racetrack, because street pads have a lower maximum operating temperature than race pads and are not designed to operate at track temps. What is particularly scary about some street pads is that once they approach their maximum operating temperature their mu falls off a cliff and rapidly approaches zero. In real world terms, that means the driver doesn’t receive any warning. On one stop the car slows as expected, and on the next you need to press the pedal much harder to get a similar reaction from the brakes.

With a typical race pad, mu is low when the pad material is cold. If you push hard on the brake pedal, it doesn’t feel as if the pads are gripping the brake disc very hard. Many people refer to this pad attribute as its ‘cold bite’. As the disc and pad temperatures rise however, mu increases, and the driver doesn’t have to press very hard for them to grab the brake disc. Track pads also have more gradually tapering mu when temperatures get extremely high, which means they give more warning as they approach their max operating temperature.

Looking at a Brake Dyno Plot

The first thing to consider when looking at a brake dyno graph is that all brake dynamometers are different. One can view this situation exactly like engine dynos. The mu numbers one manufacturer claims or generates on their dyno aren’t comparable to the numbers generated by another manufacturer. The machines are different, and the test parameters are different: number of brake events, different stop durations, different amount of time between stops, different caliper pressures, etc. We constantly see people on message forums comparing mu values across pad manufacturers, but doing so is futile. A Brand X pad that Brand X claims has a mu of 0.5 at 1000°F is not the same as a Ferodo pad that Ferodo claims has a mu of 0.5 at 1000°F. No comparative conclusions can be drawn from looking at mu graphs from different manufacturers. The only value of a manufacturer’s brake dyno graph is to compare within that manufacturer’s line of brake pads (assuming the same procedures and machine were used to produce the results for all data on that graph). For example, comparing the Ferodo DS2500 to the DS3.12 on a Ferodo dyno plot is a valid comparison. The specific numbers are essentially irrelevant since you can’t compare them to other brands (unless you have your own brake dyno), but the shape of the curve and relative differences between the Ferodo pad compounds does provide valuable information. Again, ignore the actual numbers and focus on the relative differences and the shape of the curves.

The above is one of the reasons why Essex built our own brake dyno, so we can conduct comparative testing both for ourselves and for our race team customers. We can execute apples-to-apples pad tests, and we know what we have before its ever run on a car. We also don’t have to blindly accept a manufacturer’s data. We find out on our own what we have, and how it compares to other available products that we’ve tested on our dyno, via our own procedures.

On to the dyno graph! The dyno results below was provided by Ferodo, but we’ve seen similar relative results on our own Essex brake dyno. The value of this graph is that it shows the relative mu of several Ferodo pad compounds across a broad temperature range. If we look at the new DS3.12 compound’s plot, we see that it has higher mu across the board from stone cold to searing hot vs. any prior Ferodo compound. That means the DS3.12 is always going to feel as if it requires less pedal effort vs. the DS1.11, regardless of whether you’re on your morning commute or driving a session at Road America. With the DS3.12 you won’t have to press the pedal as hard to slow the car.

What’s shocking about the DS3.12 is that it exhibits almost no variation in mu across an amazingly wide temperature range. Out of all the pad compounds we’ve ever tested, from all manufacturers, the DS3.12 shows the flattest torque curve across the broadest temperature range. On track, most of our customers will be running their pads in the 700-1400°F range (400-750°C). Across that range, the mu curve for DS3.12 is table-top flat. That means that on every turn, on every track you drive, on every lap, your brake pedal is going to feel almost exactly the same, providing tremendous consistency and repeatability.

What we also noted on our dyno about the DS3.12 that cannot be seen on the dyno graph, is the compound’s response to varying pressures. When we test a pad, we vary the clamp load on the pad and disc. The DS3.12 shows an amazingly linear response to varying pressures, which is not the case for many other pad compounds we’ve tested over the years.The real-world benefit of this linear pressure-response is that it allows the driver to precisely modulate brake torque through the pedal.

If you look at the DS1.11 plot, you can see that it responds a bit differently vs. the DS3.12. As temperature rises, mu tapers off gradually. What that feels like as you go deeper into a brake event, is that you must press a little harder on the pedal to get the desired response from the pad. Some people like having to press harder, because it feels natural to them. Others don’t and prefer a more linear pressure throughout the entire stop, which is what the DS3.12 offers. There is no good or bad in this case, and the feel you prefer is completely a matter of personal preference.

Real World Results

Theoretical results are great, but even better are real world results that confirm what we’ve seen in testing.That’s precisely what we’ve seen since the DS3.12’s introduction last year.The DS3.12 has already accumulated numerous race wins at various levels of pro and amateur racing, both in the United States and abroad.Our club racing and HPDE customers who have tried them have been smitten, and they keep coming back for more (you can see owner feedback on the Essex Blog). They’ve told us that once they calibrate their brain and leg to the DS3.12’s higher mu level, which requires less leg pressure, they are the ultimate pad for consistent threshold braking.The DS3.12’s incredibly flat torque curve and linear response to varying pressures both contribute to a tremendous amount of control.

I’ve had the DS3.12 installed in my personal track car for about a year now (built C6 Corvette), and they are phenomenal.During my nearly 20 years in the brake business, I’ve had the opportunity to try a huge range of pad compounds from many different manufacturers, and the DS3.12 are as good as anything I’ve ever used.While thrashing my car at VIR I never came close to fading them, and they are wearing incredibly well. They aren’t tearing up my discs, even when I drive them around town cold. They have enough cold bite for Sunday morning drives, and most shockingly, they’ve never made a single peep of noise on my car.That almost never happens with race pads!In summary, they are the best-performing, most versatile racing brake pads I’ve ever used.The DS3.12 is a truly world-class compound that achieves some things we’ve never seen before among modern racing brake pads, and we think you’ll be as excited about them as we are!

To find DS3.12 for your car, Here is the link to Apex Performance’s brake reference charts for Porsche.  We can also source DS3.12 for any other vehicle that Essex offers so feel free to contact us with special requests!


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How to Choose Racing Brake Fluid

Product Guide: How to Choose Racing Brake Fluid


For many years, racing brake fluid has been a source of confusion among racers and enthusiasts at all levels of motorsport. Fluid labels are packed with tiny numbers and specifications, most of which nobody understands. In this article we’ll help you understand some of the fundamental characteristics of racing brake fluids, which should help you choose the fluid that most closely meets your needs.

Wet Boiling Point

If you visit the ‘racing and competition’ section of any automotive forum you’ll see thread after thread of grizzled forum veterans waxing poetic on the importance of a brake fluid’s wet boiling point. “You need to buy the super expensive stuff in the metal can, or your brakes will be mush by next weekend!” Let’s first take a look at what wet boiling point actually means, and why it isn’t nearly as important as people make it out to be if you’re maintaining your car properly.

Why do I need to change my brake fluid?

Brake fluid is hygroscopic, meaning that it absorbs moisture from the atmosphere. Even though the brake fluid is in a ‘sealed’ hydraulic system, water absorption still occurs over time. Water molecules slowly penetrate the brake hoses, caliper piston seals, etc. As the volume of water in the brake fluid increases, the fluid’s boiling point declines. Again however, the process of water infiltration is extremely slow, particularly with the materials and construction techniques used in modern brake components.

Why is ‘wet’ brake fluid dangerous?

When brake fluid is run on the track, the heat in the brake pads, discs, and calipers is transferred into the brake fluid, causing its temperature to rise. If the fluid’s boiling point is reached, gas bubbles will form. Unlike a liquid, gas is compressible. When the driver steps on the brake pedal, bubbles in the system will be squashed, and brake pedal travel can be significantly lengthened. In some cases, the pedal can go completely to the floor. This situation is frequently referred to as fluid fade or vapor lock. If you’ve ever had this happen in your car while on track, you realize that it is no fun! When your brake fluid has absorbed a lot of water, its boiling point goes down, making it more prone to fade. Again though, that takes a considerable amount of time!

What does ‘wet boiling point’ actually mean?

The ‘wet boiling point’ is simply a test conducted on brake fluid to determine how quickly it will decline over the course of its service life. The brake fluid is exposed to a humid atmosphere for a specified period of time, after which the boiling point is measured. Originally the test was a rough approximation of a brake fluid’s boiling point after two years installed in a vehicle, at which point the fluid would contain approximately 3.7% water by volume. The wet boiling point test was devised for fluid used in OE road vehicle applications, where the owner typically pays little attention to the brake system once the vehicle leaves the dealership. That minivan parked in your driveway…the one with the goldfish crackers wedged in the rear seats. That’s the relevant vehicle with regards to wet boiling point. When you’re on the way to Walley World with six kids and all your gear, you don’t want to experience brake fade because of a low wet boiling point.

How quickly is water absorbed into brake fluid?

Using AP Racing R4 Brake Fluid as an example, the line graph below shows the fluid’s degradation towards its ‘wet boiling point’ over time due to water absorption using a traditional wet boiling point test. The data assumes a linear decline with similar conditions throughout the fluid’s life. This is an absolute worst-case scenario, yet still only shows a boiling point decline of less than half a °F per day. As noted above, under real-world conditions the decline would be much less rapid due to modern brake components.

Heat in the Brake Fluid

It’s not at all uncommon for brake discs on track to see 1300F with caliper temps in the mid 300F range. When you introduce your brake fluid to those types of temperatures, it begins to break down.

Conclusions about wet boiling point

The rate at which the fluid in a modern brake system absorbs water is quite slow, and the wet boiling point is documented for brake fluids as a means of showing the expected performance of a fluid after a simulated two years in the vehicle. Most track day enthusiasts or racers aren’t ever going to absorb enough water in their fluid to degrade it to the point of containing 3.7% water by volume. That is a LOT of water in the fluid, and it would have to be in the car under extreme conditions for a very long time to reach that point. ‘Wet boiling point’ is an outdated method of estimating a fluid’s longevity, and it was devised as a yardstick for neglected road cars. Modern brake components largely prevent one from ever reaching that amount of water content in their fluid in any reasonable amount of time, and that is regardless of whether or not the car was tracked. If the fluid does not not degrade to a 3.7% water content, the dry boiling point remains the primary indicator of the abuse the fluid can take before boiling. Brake fluid bottles typically list two different boiling points, “wet” and “dry”, yet they do not mention which, if either, is more important. The answer is: Unless the brake fluid will remain in the vehicle for years, the dry boiling point is by far the more important number when considered it’s resistance to boiling on the track.

The Most Relevant Brake Fluid Characteristics for Track/Racing Applications

Now that we understand why wet boiling point isn’t terribly relevant for racing brake fluid applications, let’s look at what actually matters for superior fluid performance.

High Dry Boiling Point- The temperature at which the brake fluid will boil when fresh from the bottle. For racing or track cars that are frequently serviced, the brake fluid in the car should always be relatively fresh. Having a high dry boiling point means that the fluid has a high resistance to vapor lock, which is when the fluid reaches its boiling point, transforms into a compressible gas, and results in a long brake pedal. AP Racing R4 has one of the highest dry boiling points of any brake fluid available today.

Low Viscosity- A fluid with a low internal resistance to flow is described as having a ‘low viscosity’. The lower the viscosity, the more readily the fluid flows from the master cylinders, through the brake lines, into the ABS modulator (if equipped), and throughout the brake calipers. In other words, a fluid with a low viscosity provides the most rapid actuation of all brake system components, and AP Racing R4 has an extremely low viscosity.

High Lubricity- For two fluids with a similar viscosity, the one with the higher lubricity will result in less wear of the brake system’s moving parts. AP Racing Radi-CAL R4 has enhanced lubricity, extending the service life of your costly brake components.

If you’d like to share this information, the essentials are captured in the graphics below. To find fluid for your track car today, please visit our brake fluid page.

AP Racing R4 Brake Fluid is the current cream of the crop in pro racing.  In 2019, AP Racing R4 was used exclusively in the championship winning car in IndyCar.  AP Racing brake fluids have also won numerous championships at the highest level of circle track racing over the past decade, and they’ll be running at the 2020 Daytona 500.

Click here to get AP Racing’s R4 Radi-CAL Racing Brake Fluid

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When will SNELL SA2020 Helmets be Available?

SNELL introduces new helmet ratings every five years.  When the SA2020 standard helmets are allowed to be sold according to the SNELL foundation guidelines (October 1, 2020), most sanctioning bodies will start phasing out the use of SA10 helmets.  For those that will be interested in getting one of the new SA2020 rated helmets, availability from manufacturers will most likely begin in October 1, 2020 and be phased in throughout 2021.   We highly recommend getting your new SA2020 helmet on order sooner rather than later to avoid possible delays.  New SA2020 helmet models should be introduced sometime in 2020 so stay tuned for new model updates.

If you would like to read more about Snell testing and standards, you can visit their website at The biggest change from SA2015 to SA2020 rating is the impact criteria for SA2020 are either the same or more stringent and the impact velocities either the same or more severe.

What happens if I am scheduled for a DE or race and my helmet is expired and I have a new helmet on backorder but will not have it in time?  During the last three rounds of helmet ratings (SA2005, 2010, 2015), many manufacturers were behind in product availability and most organizations (PCA, SCCA, NASA, etc) allowed the use of expired helmets into the new rating year for a certain period.  We do recommend contacting the registrar for the event you plan to attend and confirm if they will accept an expired helmet (they usually will as they do not want to lose registration customers …but they do have to follow their organization’s rules too).

Typically manufacturers recommend a helmet life of five years and many customers actually wear out their helmets before they expire.

Not sure of sizing?  Click here to view size charts.

If you have any questions on helmets (life of use, fit, availability, etc), feel free to contact us.



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Power of Periphery

Power of the Periphery

by Andrew Rains

Published in Ross Bentley’s Speed Secrets Weekly, #231

Whether I’m working at the Porsche Sport Driving School, or taking my 88’ 944 Turbo S to the track, I’m always thinking about one thing more than anything else:

“Where do I need to look when entering turn X?”

The more we study this sport, the more the practice of looking where you want to go, not where you’re going (or don’t want to go) proves true. But what if I told you there was a way to not only improve your focused vision, but your general awareness as well?

Enter, the power of the periphery.

Focused vision is defined as what we are staring at directly.


Let’s try an experiment.


Hold out your hand in front of you, and make a fist. Your fist is roughly the area of your vision your pupils can focus on. Our eyes contain a combination of rods and cones; rods detect motion and cones detect color. The concentration of rods is highest on the outer portion of the eye, while the concentration of cones is highest in the center of the eye. (Do you feel like you’re reliving high school biology yet?).

Beyond your focused vision is where your peripheral vision comes into play. Peripheral vision is everything we perceive outside of the area defined by your fist.

The cool thing about peripheral vision is that, together, our eyes and brain assemble rough images brought in through our eyes to create the peripheral world around us.

The brain is a huge part of our peripheral vision! So if we can train our brain, then we can train our peripherals, right? Peripheral vision does a great job at detecting four things:

  1. Motion
  2. Color
  3. Shapes
  4. Text

We sense those four things with our peripherals in the order listed above, from best to worst.

Our field of view for motion detection is enormous. Have you ever been on track a GT3 Cup car car coming up behind you without taking your focused vision off the track in front of you? I know I have. That’s an example of how well we detect motion. According to the test linked below, the average person can detect a full 180 degrees of motion. Essentially, as soon as there is motion within the field of view, you’ll know it. That’s why having our side mirrors adjusted properly is important, because they are well within that 180 degree field, and motion in those mirrors is how we detect approaching cars on track.

Do you have a shift light display in your Porsche track car? How about an oil pressure warning light, or some other indicator gauge? I found it interesting to learn that our peripherals also detect the lower part of our field of vision (dashboard area when in the car), much better than the upper field (rear-view mirror area). Additionally, our peripherals can detect color within roughly 100 degrees or so of our focused vision. That’s why we’re able to nail up-shifts perfectly using those shift lights. Do you ever look at them? Maybe once or twice just to get a reference point, but from then on, the moving display and changing colors is embedded in your brain.

The above picture is a rough representation of what I’ll call our “peripheral detection zones.” The red oval on the pavement is my rough focal point. I’ve looked past my track-out point, planned my pass around the car ahead, and am now focused on the braking point for the next turn. Green represents the area in which I can accurately read text. So right now, even though I know the sticker on the center of my dashboard is white, blue, and black, I can’t actually read what it says. Purple represents the color detection zone. Within this oval, my vision can very accurately detect colors without focusing on the object. The blue oval represents my motion detection zone. If something moves anywhere in that blue oval, I’ll notice it. These zones are a little different for everyone, and this is a rough depiction based on what I have read and my personal experience.


Do you have a lap timer in your car? How long does it take you to read and understand what it is telling you while on the track, compared to a shift light? Our field of view for detecting text (words, numbers, etc.) is only within a few degrees of our focused vision. That means to read a lap time, or predictive timer accurately, you must take your focused vision off the road. Think about that when you locate your lap timer in the car. My lap timer is on the dash, mounted directly below the APEX device in the picture. I view my lap times on the straight between turns 4 and 5 at Barber. Imagine that green oval moving down to focus on the dash. The purple and blue ovals are still able to detect a lot!


Okay, so it’s pretty clear that peripheral vision is extremely important on the track. To take it a step further, I looked into what our vision does when we’re in a frenzied, panicked, or stressful state of mind. In those situations, we get tunnel vision. Our field of view reduces when we’re uncomfortable. This happens in tense social situations, if you’re about to have a physical altercation with a co-worker, or after someone cuts you off in rush hour traffic. This is dangerous. Did you know that when an elderly person has vision loss, the peripheral vision goes first. This leads to an 80% increase in the likelihood of a fall (due to the drastic loss of awareness), according to a research study I read recently. This is exactly why you’re more likely to make a mistake after car-to-car contact with a competitor, or following a big slide entering a scary corner. Mistakes breed mistakes, because our vision narrows!

Here are a few examples (for more info, visit the provided links to training and tutorials on peripheral vision):

  • While on the grid before a session, take a few moments to consciously think about relaxing your body. Start with your feet and work up to your head and neck.
  • Really think about releasing tension in your neck. This is proven to help maintain a strong field of vision in stressful situations.
    • Not only does this help your field of vision, but it’s also key to what Ross preaches about finding the zone!

When at home, practice this simple exercise:

  • Focus on an object across the room and stare at it intently. (Ideally, you haven’t been in this room long, or know where everything is located in that room). Take long deep breaths, and try to make out the shapes and color of the objects that you are not staring at directly. Do this routinely and, over time, your peripheral vision will become stronger and more aware.
    • If you’ve been racing or driving on track for a while, you’ll find that your field of view is already pretty good, but it can always get better!

Improving our vision skills is the best way to learn how to safely take our Porsche’s to the limits they were designed to explore. So the real question is: how well can you see what you’re not staring at? My challenge to you is think about your peripheral vision, practice using it, then watch your on-track awareness improve!


Tests and training for peripheral vision:


– Andrew Rains


​Facebook: /apexdigitaldrivingcoach/

Instagram: @apexdigitialdrivingcoach


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APEX Pro – Benchmarking your performance in real-time!

Benchmarking your performance in real-time

by Andrew Rains, Marketing Director @ APEX


Data that you actually use!

Recently, I had the chance to race with my good friends; the WineUm – DineUm race team in the newly renamed, ChampCar Endurance Series. They run a BMW E36 (called FiFi) with ONLY 370,000 miles on the odo. The team is led by Jack Joyner, fellow Driving Instructor, Heart of Dixie BMW Cub Founding Father, and an all-around solid guy. Joyner has built an endurance racing weapon.

To say I had fun racing with this crew would be an understatement. It was absolutely epic. I appreciate them letting me come thrash their well-built machine around for a few hours.

Fourteen hours of wheel-to-wheel racing at Road Atlanta is the perfect place for APEX Pro. We used a Panavise Camera Suction mount to put the device in a place that worked for all of us, and then we ran a long micro USB – USB cable to keep it charged the whole race. Easy enough!

I get something new from the LED display every time I’m on track. I did a few laps in the car on Friday before the race. It was then that I decided that turns 1,5,6 and 7 were going to be my reference points for the APEX display. Those are places that I developed a specific reference point on the track for the APEX’s indication.

Right after turn-in at 1
Braking in 5,
The apex of 6,
Braking into 7

These are the areas in each of those corners where I could easily acknowledge the peripheral indication each lap and compare it to the previous lap to see if I had improved.

So what did APEX teach me this time? – here’s a link to read the full article from Andrew Rains at APEX!

Turn 1: I learned to trust the car. I also learned that I slowed too much in traffic when sacrificing radius to make a pass. APEX was telling me I could have used less brake pressure and been just fine in those situations!

Turn 5: One of my stronger points on the track. APEX constantly reminded me to mind my brake pressure here. You don’t need much of it, and I can honestly say that without the peripheral lights to hold me accountable I would have likely over-slowed 5 on a fast lap!

Turn 6: Earlier turn-in does equal more grip! I was able to detect a brake lockup using APEX. This car has factory ABS; it just happened to not work. Sometimes you get a barely noticeable lockup. For me, this was in 6. I would try desperately to trail brake just a touch on entry and roll a ton of speed, but sometimes my brake pressure was 1-2 % too much, and I learned from watching my onboard that APEX noticed before I did!

Turn 7: I used APEX to constantly learn how to adapt my brake pressure for traffic. When the line was compromised by heavy traffic, I could easily reference the device to make sure I rolled good corner speed, even if I was slower exiting 6 and bottled up by other cars.

Now, after reviewing my video and really being able to go into detail with what the display was indicating about my driving I’ve learned a few things.

  1. My steering input into T1 isn’t great, and I can still manage to roll more speed with a lighter trail brake input as I turn.
  2. I gave up something through T4 and the esses every lap. For some reason I didn’t quite have the confidence in the car there. I think higher tire pressures would have helped, we kept bleeding them down throughout the day, and I think I would have benefitted had I not asked to bleed them down again before I got in the car!
  3. I got through Turn 6 really nicely most laps, but could stand to brake later. More on this briefly…
  4. Entry to 10a could have been helped by taking more of the right side curb on turn in, but I still managed a solid exit most laps!

Now let’s discuss the dynamics of the car. Overall, very solid, fast, predictable, and easy to drive!


  • Balanced, doesn’t tend to do anything quirky (snap over or understeer etc..)
  • Easy to detect limit when cornering – good communication through the chassis
  • Stiff and nicely balanced steady state handling
  • Driveable power and torque, that beautiful BMW straight six!


  • No ABS, in a car that came from the factory with ABS. This usually spells trouble, and on this car, I think it’s a pretty big hindrance. Lock-up happens suddenly and unexpectedly, and maintaining threshold braking is difficult. To me, the proportioning feels a little off – very little rear brake. This could also be a function of higher grip compounds on the front brake pads. I think the team has plans to get the ABS working, and try some new brake pads for the next race! This should yield big improvement. You can see in the video that my braking point for turn 10a/b is at the 300 marker on a good lap. For such a light weight car only doing about 125mph, we should be able to get down to the 200!
  • Stiffness: The chassis itself is super stiff, and the car handles well in the steady state corners due to some solid ARB end links and a light spring rate. But, there is a lot to be desired in the transients. Bilstein shocks made an improvement over the last time I drove the car, but I think the stiffness of the chassis requires a little more spring rate. The car takes too long to settle, and could stand to translate more feedback to the driver.


What was also remarkable was the enthusiasm and excitement of using the device that has developed with the other team members. Every time someone hopped out of the car they recognized something that the device was showing them. I thoroughly enjoy hearing what people get out of the use of the device

Every time I get to drive in an endurance race format I’m reminded why I fell in love with motorsport to begin with. To me, endurance racing is the ultimate form of automotive competition. It combines the best aspects of team and individual sports, and wraps it all with the smell of race gas and tires.

Not a day goes by where I don’t acknowledge how thankful I am to be a part of APEX Pro. In my opinion companies fail because they lose sight of who their customers are. Racing in ChampCar reminds me that I AM the APEX Pro customer. Sometimes I momentarily forget that I developed the product (along with some folks that are much smarter than I am), and I just get to enjoy it. It also reminds me of the true value of the product: helping drivers to maximize the available grip by gaining confidence. That is what APEX does, and I don’t think any thing else on the market can make that claim.

Interested in an APEX to experience real-time on-track feedback yourself?  Here’s the link.

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Cool Shirt Black Comet Pump – Air Lock Fix


The black comet pump in the Club Systems and Pro Air & Water Systems has changed slightly from the manufacturer in mid 2016 and were susceptible to developing an air lock. If the pump develops an air lock, it will not move water and not provide cooling to the user. The root cause of this issue is no air relief port in the pump. They have developed a solution for this and have begun to implement it into all new systems going forward but here is the information just in case someone out there still has one of the pumps where the hole was not drilled to prevent the air lock issue.

Below is a link to instructions on how to fix this issue. It needs minimum tools and takes approximately 3-5 minutes to complete. The tools needed are a flat head screw driver, a drill, a 1/16” drill bit and a 1/8” drill bit.

If you are experiencing the below issues, this should solve the problem and get the system back to running properly.

– Pump runs but no water is being pumped.

– System provides cooling while on the grid or stationary but not when in motion going around track.

Please see the Tech Bulletin below:

Black Comet Pump Tech Bulletin

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Sabelt’s new Silver Series Harness edition is available

  • New compact buckle integrates sub-belts
  • Easy adjustment with yellow pull-down straps
  • Velcro patches on shoulder straps secure loose ends
  • Includes both pull UP and pull DOWN lap belts – complete flexibility
  • Comms/hydration routing on shoulder belts keep lines secure
  • HANS-friendly silicone grips on underside of shoulder belts keep your belts on the device even better!

Replacing the previous design which featured 2/3″ combination shoulder straps, the new Silver Series harness from Sabelt uses 2″ belts throughout, secured with lightweight aluminum hardware. Intuitively adjusted in the cockpit with bright yellow tabs that pull down, changing drivers and entering the cockpit are now simpler and easier than ever. The newly designed cam-lock buckle now integrates the crotch-belts fixture, enabling it’s 2016 homologation and heightening driver safety in the event of an impact. HANS-friendly silicone grips have been added on the underside of the shoulder belts.


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Speedcom 2-PI Coaching System

SPEEDCOM introduces their new 2-PI coaching intercom. This intercom can operate from your car’s 12 volt system or 4 AA batteries. It features independent volume control for the driver and driver coach plus an audio output that you can patch into your video system to record the conversation in real time.

Works with existing IMSA wired helmets or you can purchase Speedcom’s single ear intercom headsets.



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New Intercom Communicator Options for Instructors

Chatterbox has introduced their new Bluetooth wireless headsets.  No more cords to get in your way.  Comes with a rechargeable headset and Bluetooth4 technology.  Independent volume control and on/off control are located at the mic.

The headset recharges in 2-4 hours and will last 6-8 hours (of continuous use).

Here’s the link.

Great alternative for those that do not have communication equipment already installed in their helmet!