I recently had the displeasure of cracking the front OEM Nissan rotors on my 2012 BE GTR. As many of you know the OEM rotors crack when used on track. It took me 1 track event at Buttonwillow raceway, and less then 6k miles to crack my rotors to the point where they needed to be replaced. I researched some options on this forum, and came across the Alcon rotors which were about 1k a piece. Not willing to pay 2k for a set of rotor rings I decided to wait till other companies offered a more competitive after market solution.
I recently purchased a set of RacingBrake OE replacement rotors that are slotted rather than drilled like the OEM Nissan rotors. I also purchased a set of their RB XT960 racing brake pads. Initial impressions on my dealing with RacingBrake were great. The staff was very knowledgeable and answered all of my questions. I received the rotors and pads a few days ago just in time for the 2013 GTR experience held at Laguna Seca Raceway. For those not familiar with the 2013 GTR Experience, this is an event hosted by Nissan for GTR owners. The California event was hosted at Laguna Seca by the Skip Barber Racing School. At this event there was an AutoX, a Drag Strip, a Slalom course, and of course the Laguna Seca Road Course. Participants used their own personal cars for a number of driving workshops. This was essentially the perfect place to try out my new rotor and pad combination.
I had the OEM rotors with Hawk DTC 70 front and DTC60 rear pad combination; I also have a set steel braided brake lines and Motul RBF600 for brake fluid. With this setup I did my first track event at Buttonwillow Config 13CW. This was my first track event with the GTR and the car went 2 mins flat for its fastest lap. This was the only track event on the OEM rotors and they cracked at this event. I like to think that I am pretty hard on the brakes. I also exhibited what I perceived at the time to be pad knock-back, or brake fade, which I later discovered to be a product of the DTC 70s initial bite. Suffice it to say I did not want to spend money on this combination again.
My setup for the 2013 GTR experience was as follows. 2012 GTR Black Edition factory stock except for RacingBrake XT960 race pad, RacingBrake OE replacement Rotor Ring, Steel braided brake lines, Motul RBF600 brake fluid. After I got the rotors and pads installed, I proceeded to bed in the brake pads. My initial impression was that these pads had some brake squeal. Having run a number of different race compound brake pads, this was to be expected. I also noticed that the initial bite on these pads was much better than the DTC 70 Hawk pads I had previously on my car. Brake modulation was good, and threshold braking was easy to accomplish. With the car ready, I eagerly awaited my chance to test out the brakes at the 2013 GTR Experience event.
On Track Experience
Let me start off by saying that the 2013 GTR Experience event was really hard on the brakes of all the GTRs in attendance. The first activity for our group of 11 GTRs was the AutoX. The groups had a combination of stock and modified GTRs, with drivers of all skill levels. We got a number of laps on the AutoX course to familiarize ourselves with the course. The highest speeds we got to were around 60mph and down to 15 mph. This happened on 3 parts of the 22second course. I performed 5 laps for 3 sessions and the brakes worked great during the short stints. No fade, no pad knock-back, and great modulation throughout. The second activity was the makeshift drag strip.
This strip was a little less than an 1/8th of a mile with a hard and short braking zone at the end. We would reach speeds of up to 85mph before the braking zone and then down to 0 mph. Again the brakes performed great. No fade even though there was no cool down period between runs. The next activity was a trail braking exercise on Turn 1 of Laguna Seca right after the front straight and downhill section. We would get to about 100 mph before the braking zone and again the brakes did not disappoint. Trail braking into turn 1 and then modulating the brakes through turn 1 with some steering wheel input would exacerbate any pad knock-back issues the GTR has. Turns out that what I previously mistook as Pad knock-back issues on the GTR, were the DTC 70 pads and the way they engage.
The last driving activity was the full road course behind and instructor car. If you have driven on Laguna Seca you know that it is one of the worst tracks for cooling. There are no long straights, the average speeds are pretty high, and the track is generally tough on the brakes. I started the activity slowly becoming accustomed to the elevation changes at Laguna Seca. A few laps later I was flying up the rear of the instructor car. We did a 10 lap session and came in to pit for a brief second before going back out again for another 10 laps. The brakes did not show any sign of wear or damage. After the open lapping session we went back to the AutoX course for our timed laps. We did 3 sessions of 3 timed laps and the fastest average time of the 3 sessions was used to place us in the competition. I managed to place 3rd behind 2 modified GTRs running 285 R888s up front.
This setup is a great for people who like to track their GTRs. Not only did these brakes not fade throughout the day, but my rotors are still intact after all of the heat cycles they went through. The value these OE replacement rotors provide is second to none. I am already doing 100% better then what I did with the OEM Nissan rotors. The pads are still in great shape. I will be doing a Buttonwillow event with timing this Saturday, and don’t expect to have to change anything on my car before this event. Interesting thing to note; the pads are no longer squeaking, and the brake dust is very easy to clean off compared to other race pads. I would highly recommend this setup to people looking to upgrade the OEM equipment. Links, and pics below.
OE Replacement Rotor:
XT960 Race Pad:
Edited by Sakred, 25 June 2013 - 12:26 PM.