Brembo’s Innovations Featured in Henry Ford Museum

3/30/2021

 Brembo technology on display in amazing interactive exhibition on racing in America at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

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Do you remember the joy and wonder you experienced the first time you went to an amusement park? Together with Brembo and host of other performance brands you can relive exactly the same emotions when you go to the Driven to Win: Racing in America exhibition presented by General Motors opening on March 27, 2021 at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation. 


Opened by Henry Ford himself in 1929 in Dearborn (Michigan), the museum is visited by over 1.7 million people every year who are fascinated by the human and professional life of the brilliant business magnate and the exhibits which are not only related to motoring but also the history of transportation in the USA (several artifacts that belonged to former US Presidents are housed here). ​



 

Inspired by visitors’ requests, the directors of the Henry Ford Museum of American innovation have set up a 24,000 square-foot exhibition devoted to racing including stock cars, Indy cars, endurance racing, land speed records, drag racing and hill climb. 


It is a sort of amusement park for motor enthusiasts who can satisfy all their tastes and desires and admire 22 racing cars that have crafted the history of motorsport including the Ford GT40 Mk IV with a 7-liter engine which in the expert hands of AJ Foyt and Dan Gurney won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1967, four laps ahead of the first of seven Ferraris in the race. 


At the time, Brembo was still a small local company that had only been in business for six years. It was only in 1975 when it supplied a batch of cast iron discs to the Ferrari racing team for Formula 1 that Brembo became a leading name in performance braking to the rest of the world. Thanks to increasing investment in research and development Brembo continues to expand as demonstrated by the many teams who use Brembo brakes on tracks around the world. 


The Chip Ganassi Racing team’s Ford GT with a V6 engine and carbon fiber bodywork is also on display. In 2016 (exactly half a century after the first Ford win in the French endurance classic race), it won the GTE Pro category at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Sebastien Bourdais, Joey Hand and Dirk Muller where Brembo braking systems helped it gain precious seconds and, of course, make the last stop in Victory Lane.



​Alongside legendary cars of the 20th century, such as the Locomobile Old 16 Race Car which won the Vanderbilt Cup in 1908 or the Goldenrod which in 1965 set the speed record for wheel-driven cars (409.277 miles per hour), there are also more modern models such as the 2012 Ford Fiesta Rally Car driven by YouTube sensation Ken Block in Gymkhana Five. 


While on the subject of unique drivers, one of the areas that promises to be one of the most popular is the one housing the simulators “In the Driver's Seat” which has been created with the invaluable help of Brembo engineers. Six driving stations with a seat, steering wheel and pedals will be available to the general public as well as, wait for it ... a triple screen to make the view from inside the cockpit as realistic as possible. ​



 

On the most challenging tracks in the world, onboard the most powerful and sought after cars, enthusiasts will first experience a five-minute qualifying session, followed by a real wheel-to-wheel race that lasts 15 minutes. All this is done competing against other people who are using the simulators at the same time since the six simulators are interlinked. 


In addition to sight and touch, Driven to Win stimulates other senses as well, starting with smell and hearing, as explained by Patricia Mooradian, President and CEO of Henry Ford: “From the smell of the tires, the sound of the vehicles starting their engines, the innovative advancements that have been made over the years to the various tracks these vehicles have raced on, our staff and partners have certainly brought this exhilarating sport to life on our museum floor.” 


The level of safety obtained by modern racing cars can be admired in a model without bodywork which shows visitors the skeleton of the car and also the braking system, made by Brembo of course. Progress has also been made in other aspects of motor racing safety as can be seen in the improvements to drivers' clothing and helmets. ​



 

Even pit stops during a race are much more technologically advanced than they used to be as can be seen in the Sports Car Performance Center where there are five screens full of colored diagrams that change as the car displayed on the two top screens advances in the race. Obviously, the temperature of the brakes is one of the many parameters which the engineers in the pits keep under control. 


The Sports Car Performance Center also houses a vehicle made up of the left-hand side of the Ford GT road car combined with the right-hand side of the car used in endurance racing. Visitors can admire the differences, but above all the similarities between the two braking systems, both made by Brembo, not only on the car but also individually on a display stand. ​



 

To learn more about the two Ford GT braking systems, visitors can use the Brembo animation created specially for the occasion via a touchscreen. The dimensions of each component (front and rear pad, caliper and disc and brake pedal and air flow) are shown whereas a video animation displays all the brake parts of the two GT race cars by rotating the model.​



Once all that was needed to win was a powerful and reliable engine and refined aerodynamics, whereas in the third millennium, all components must be at the cutting edge, including the braking system. Although Brembo is an Italian brand, the design, testing and manufacturing of the brakes for the American production cars takes place in the USA, in Plymouth (Michigan) where one of Brembo's R&D centers is located for the brakes and in Homer where the brake discs and calipers for domestic vehicles are manufactured. 


Made in America, driven to win. ​


 

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