5 things to know about Indycar braking systems

4/12/2016

THE BRAKES ARE PUSHED VERY HARD ON THE ROAD AND STREET COURSES BUT USED LITTLE ON THE OVAL TRACKS: HERE IS THE RANKING OF THE TOUGHEST TRACKS IN THE 2016 VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES

Oval/Speedway, Road Course and Temporary Street Circuit: not all of the circuits put the brakes under the same stress.


On the oval tracks, drivers of the single-seaters in the Verizon IndyCar Series use their brakes very little, indeed only in emergencies, but on the road courses they require braking systems that are able to handle intense, repetitive braking.


 

​Here are the 5 things that you need to know about brakes in the Verizon IndyCar Series


1) The braking system doesn’t change


Whether racing on an oval track or on a street circuit, the single-seater braking system is the same: this is one of the conditions mandated by IndyCar for the manufacturers that nominated themselves as suppliers. 


 

 

 


 


 

2) Generously-sized carbon brakes


The IndyCar braking systems are composed of 324 mm carbon discs made of CER200 in sizes that are decidedly bigger compared to the F1 cars that use 278 mm discs.


 

The brake pads are also made of carbon. The 6-piston monobloc aluminium caliper is machined from billet and weighs a mere 2 kg.

 

 
 

 


 

3) Brake modifications for oval tracks


To maximise speed on oval tracks, the braking system has to limit the residual torque to a minimum (contact between a brake pad and a disc).


 

To do so, sealing gaskets made of a special material are used and anti-knockoff springs are not mounted behind the pistons. In this way, the single-seater gains in speed without compromising safety. 


 

​4) Brembo: exclusive supplier


For the fifth year in a row, Brembo is the exclusive supplier of braking systems for IndyCar. Even though it is the only supplier, Brembo still seeks to continuously develop the system in order to adapt its performance to the car’s performance, which is constantly increasing.

Over the years, the braking system has undergone changes to the geometry in the disc and pad, the master cylinder and part of the caliper.
 

 

 

5) Not all of the circuits work the brakes in the same way


Practically unused on oval tracks, except when entering the pit lane and when there is an accident, the braking systems are subject to a different kind of strain on street circuits. Some of the tracks are distinguished by long straightaways with brusque braking (St. Petersburg) and others have more turns (Sonoma), flat stretches (Long Beach), numerous elevation variations (Mid-Ohio), or perfect road surfaces (the road course in Indianapolis) and still others have many asphalt changes (Detroit).


 

All of these variables call for a different use of the braking systems. The most challenging track by far is the one that winds through the streets of Toronto: over the course of 2.8 km, the drivers are required to brake just 4 times, but they exercise extreme pressure, often in the presence of harsh conditions. On turn 8, for example, the speed drops 160 km/h in less than 2 seconds. On the smaller oval tracks, on the other hand, the drivers turn to the brakes only when entering the pit lane or in the case of intense traffic.


For each of the 16 races of the 2016 Championship, here is an estimate of the level of severity on the braking systems, which was drafted by Brembo technicians on a scale of 1-10.


 

 

 

Brembo S.p.A. | P.IVA 00222620163

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