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One of the best brake pad comparison tests can be found in the Oct 2011 issue of GRM.

Pro driver: James Clay, drives for Bimmerworld team in Grand Am
Track: VIR 2.26 mile North Course
Car: 2002 track prepped BMW M3 (supplied James Clay)
Tires: New set of 275/35/18 Hoosier R6's fitted before each pad change
Rotors: New set of PFC direct drive rotors fitted for each pad set
Weather: Overcast all day, 72 to 76 degrees
Duration of test: 1 day, 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM, 11 laps per pad
Data logging: AIM Sports with Chad Brakens

Conditions for test could not have been better in my opinion.

Results: ( in order of fastest average laptime)

Cobalt CRB XR1: Average lap 1:38.56, Fast lap: 1:38.22
Performance Friction 01: Average lap 1:38.81, Fast lap: 1:37.90
Hawk DTC-70 front, HT-10 rear: Average lap 1:38.86, Fast lap: 1:38.32
Essex Carbon Lorraine RC6: Average lap 1:39.41, Fast lap: 1:38.91
Porterfield R4: Average lap 1:39.44, Fast lap: 1:38.98
EBC Bluestuff AF66: Average lap 1:40.20, Fast lap: 1:39.78

First notice how good James Clay is in terms of consistency over 11 laps for each car by comparing his best time on any pad to his average time on the same pad. Pro driver makes for steady and fast every lap, which is what is needed to win races.

Difference from best pad's average lap time to compare pads:

Cobalt CRB XR1: 0.00 reference
Performance Friction 01: 0.25 seconds
Hawk DTC-70 front, HT-10 rear: 0.30 seconds
Essex Carbon Lorraine RC6: 0.85 seconds
Porterfield R4: 0.88 seconds
EBC Bluestuff AF66: 1.64 seconds

So Cobalt is best, followed by two equal results 1/4 second behind in Hawk and PFC pads, then Carbon Lorraine and Porterfield almost a second slower, and EBC pulling up the rear with over a 1.5 second deficit and a comment about James having to pump the pedal to get confidence and brake pressure going through the roof.

Article says Hawk results were compromised because they didn't send the same pad front and rear and James said balance was wrong and their data logging confirmed. Article concludes by saying that test results could have been different had Hawk sent the same pads front and rear. James Clay races on PFC pads and rotors, but test was done blind (although he guessed correctly when car was fitted with the PFC pads).

They must have spent quite a bit of money on this test, and they did it right. With more time and money, they could have tested more pads, but I'm impressed with what they did. I for one am going to keep on using my Hawk DTC pads and PFC rotors. Price for the Hawk GT-R pads can't be beat.
 

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Thanks for the post. I picked up a set of the Hawks after your recommendation, price was definitely right! Yet to make a trip to the track with them though.
 

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Was there any comment on longevity? For us HPDE guys a good pad is nice but not when it costs $$$ and doesn't last long...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Was there any comment on longevity? For us HPDE guys a good pad is nice but not when it costs $$$ and doesn't last long...
Unfortunately no mention at all about longevity. 11 lap test on new pads would make it difficult to determine how long they last as pad wear would be quite minimal. Likely would have to do a few sessions on each pad to measure wear. Pad price in their test on the BMW was around $450-$470 for a front and rear set, except for Porterfield which was $390 and EBC at $300. But prices for pads on a GT-R are much more varied. Some people think paying $700 for a set of front pads makes sense.

You have to read the article to see the comments about the pads' performance and feel though. Much more info than just the lap times I posted.
 

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A very worthwhile read. Influenced my decision on my pads for the CCM's. DTC 70's, front and rear. Hawk recommends DTC 70's front, DTC 60's rear. I got the full balanced set.

Shawn
 

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Looks like a good basic test. No mention of longevity/pad taper wear, rotor wear/temperatures with each pad or feel. Tires/brakes/shocks are the 3 most important, yet driver subjective modifications to a car. Seen many times when a pad can offer a fast lap time but the driver does not want to use that pad because it does not feel right for his style.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Looks like a good basic test. No mention of longevity/pad taper wear, rotor wear/temperatures with each pad or feel. Tires/brakes/shocks are the 3 most important, yet driver subjective modifications to a car. Seen many times when a pad can offer a fast lap time but the driver does not want to use that pad because it does not feel right for his style.
If you find the magazine and read the article, there is plenty to read on pad feel.
 

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No carbotechs in the test, was a bit dissapointing IMO.
 

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Absolutely, but that would be a completely different test with a completely different set of pads. You'd probably focus on noise, rotor wear, amount of dust created etc.

Mixing those factors into this test would be a waste of time because no one gives a crap if their brakes squeal or create dust at the track...

Whilst outright track results are important, with DD cars, there's a lot of other important factors too
 

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I've tested Carbotech vs. Hawk and for 'me' the Carbotechs broke better, were easier on the rotor, and much easier to 'modulate'. Would have liked to see them part of the mix... surprising based on their involvement in club racing... for GRM to not compare them.

Peace,
Dave
 

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I've tested Carbotech vs. Hawk and for 'me' the Carbotechs broke better, were easier on the rotor, and much easier to 'modulate'. Would have liked to see them part of the mix... surprising based on their involvement in club racing... for GRM to not compare them.
Which Carbotech compound were you running, and was this on your GT-R? I'm asking because I'm considering switching to the Hawks. I ran a set of XP12's on my GT-R and they were good, but switched to the CL RC6E in hopes of getting more longevity.
 

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Wasn't on my gtr... was on my is-f, and my track cars. You could try going down to 10's... I typically run 16's personally on the fronts, and 10 or 12's on the back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Wasn't on my gtr... was on my is-f, and my track cars. You could try going down to 10's... I typically run 16's personally on the fronts, and 10 or 12's on the back.
You have to consider performance of a brake pad on a GT-R on track. is-f is of course not comparable in terms of speed and thus brake heat. GT-R is heavy and fast, and lacks sufficient brake cooling for serious track work, and so pads that might work really well on a Spec Miata are not necessarily going to work well on a GT-R. For a GT-R driven hard on track, one will get the front rotors well above the AP Racing recommended maximum of 610C as shown using their rotor temperature paint. I first ran Carbotechs XP12's on my GT-R, and while they worked well, at the elevated temperatures seen on my rotors, they hardly lasted 2 days on track. Hawk DTC-60's or DTC-70's last at least 50% longer for me, and brake just as well, and they're cheaper. My experience with Pagid RS-29 pads on other track cars is also very good, but they cost more than double what the Hawks cost for the GT-R, so I have never bothered trying those. There are certainly other pads that work well on track for a GT-R, but for me question is how much do they cost and how long do they last. My experience with Carbotechs on other track cars was the same as on the GT-R, They wear very quickly if you let them get too hot. But I have never tried XP16's. I have paid $290 for front DTC-70's and $235 for rears from a vendor on here, with free shipping. For DTC-60 fronts, I paid $274 and $216 for rears, also with free shipping from another vendor. Last time I checked XP12's were closer to $370 front and $250 rear, and XP16 fronts are over $400. Perhaps they can be had for less, but for me their longevity on track was not good enough to justify the extra cost.
 

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I ran a set of XP12's on my GT-R and they were good, but switched to the CL RC6E in hopes of getting more longevity.
Life is dependent on heat, and heat capacity of the brake pad. Keep them cooler, they will last longer. Its nice to have a large heat range, but still the hotter they run, the less time they will last.

Race cars run lots of big ducting to the brakes for a reason.

 

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Life is dependent on heat, and heat capacity of the brake pad. Keep them cooler, they will last longer. Its nice to have a large heat range, but still the hotter they run, the less time they will last.

Race cars run lots of big ducting to the brakes for a reason.
Need hoses....

From STILLEN active blowers

To brake parts....



Please?

Shawn
 
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