Brake Pads

Brakes are something most people don’t think about in everyday driving. Usually the first time brakes are given a second thought is when an unusual noise is heard or worse case when the brakes don’t work properly when they are needed most.

Behind the wheels are some of the hardest working components of a vehicle, the brakes. Even in everyday driving, brake components are subjected to a lot of heat and the harshest of conditions, such as water, mud and even snow and ice. Rally car brakes also have to cope with high speeds, heavy usage and continual vibration as the driver hurls the rally car through the special stages.

Over the years we have tried many different brake pad brands and types. Some have not worked very well at all, despite some of the claims we have been given by the salesmen. Some brake pads have not even lasted a rally. One time we pulled out a set of brake pads mid event that were brand new at the start of the rally. The driver had been complaining that the brakes were fading badly and he was having trouble stopping the car. Despite the brake pads supposedly being suited to rally and competition use, the charred and worn out remains lying on the ground in the service park told their own story. We were determined not to have this happen again.

Through our own research and competition experience we now use two types of brake pads: Pagid & Ferodo. We have found both brands equally good and in some cars we have fitted Ferodo front brake pads and Pagid rear brake pads or vice versa. Both brands cope well with the rigours of motorsport. We have found both are long lasting, offer excellent braking and cope with the intense conditions without  fade. The first time we fitted these brakes pads to our competition cars, some of us were misjudging our braking. Previously with different brand pads fitted we needed to brake 100m from a corner to wash off enough speed. With these brands fitted, the braking distance had more than halved and we were finding we had slowed too much well before the corners. 

We find that when we prepare the cars for the next event and inspect the brakes, the pads are still in good shape and often we get more than one season out of a set of pads. A few years ago we had a set of rear Pagid brake pads in one of our WRX’s that completed two full state championship seasons and a World Rally Championship event  before needing replacement.

Having been so impressed with the stopping power in our rally cars, we now fit both brands to our everyday road cars and tow vehicles.