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Brake Pads and Tire Combo for Drivers Just Getting Started

205
243
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
Virginia
I have years of Auto X, drag race, Canyon runs ect. experience but, am a new to HPDE. I've been been reading and learning from all of you over the past year. I'm starting to purchase items for next season and have been looking at everything from R7's, Conti, Pirelli to street tires to run on a 19x11 square setup. Of late I've been looking more towards an intermediate setup. NT01 seem on the higher end of pricing but, maybe the best value per session since I'll be running in Novice group gaining experience...NT01's would probably last through green group or more. Conti and or scrubs my be cheaper but, will I just be driving rubber off them as I gain experience?

Ive also been looking at pads. My initial thoughts were to stick with OEM pads for a while but, have been considering something like a ST43. Thoughts?
 
+1 on the NT01. Great all around choice for performance and longevity. Wish I would have made the jump sooner, since I was getting tired of wearing out perfectly good street tires my first 2 years doing HPDE.

As a beginner, if you need a pad to work on the street and track, I liked Hawk HPS or Street\Race pads, but you will not be able to push them very hard. But if have a dedicated track car, swap pads for events or can handle some squealing on the street, G-LOC or Carbotect make great products. I started with the R10(F)/R8(R) compounds, but now moving to a more aggressive R12(F) pad this season.

There are some great vendor sponsors on this site that can give some advice. I'd drop an email or call them up...Thats how I started my braking pad journey.
 
1,150
1,125
In the V6L
I have years of Auto X, drag race, Canyon runs ect. experience but, am a new to HPDE. I've been been reading and learning from all of you over the past year. I'm starting to purchase items for next season and have been looking at everything from R7's, Conti, Pirelli to street tires to run on a 19x11 square setup. Of late I've been looking more towards an intermediate setup. NT01 seem on the higher end of pricing but, maybe the best value per session since I'll be running in Novice group gaining experience...NT01's would probably last through green group or more. Conti and or scrubs my be cheaper but, will I just be driving rubber off them as I gain experience?

Ive also been looking at pads. My initial thoughts were to stick with OEM pads for a while but, have been considering something like a ST43. Thoughts?
So you've got a GT350R, correct? If that's the case, you can stick with the factory pads for the first few times out. It'll depend on your driving style, but most of us have had good success with the OEM GT350 pads. As far as I can tell, from a performance standpoint, the OEM pads are roughly equivalent to a Ferodo DS2500 compound, but they're massive and so are the calipers and rotors, so they don't have heat problems.

As for Raybestos, I've run ST42's in the past and loved them. In general, Raybestos makes great brake pads but they're a brand that doesn't get a lot of play on the forums because, just like Pagid and Performance Friction, their customers are mainly professional race teams. That said, their pads tend to be noisy when they're cold. Really noisy. My personal preference is Pagid. The RSL29's are professional endurance racing pads and they'll outlast just about anything else and they have great modulation and a flat torque curve, so pedal feel doesn't change much over the course of a lap.

As for tires, you've got lots of choices in 305/30x19 if you're running square. I used NT-01's for years but I've moved to other brands with the GT350. Michelin MPSC2's in 305 or 315 square work well, and I've got a set of used Pirelli Trofeo R's that I haven't run on this car yet and a set of new Goodyear 3R's to try next year as well. The Michelins were engineered for this chassis, and they deliver spectacular grip and relatively long life.
 
205
243
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
Virginia
@JAJ @barspen Thank you both for your suggestions. Yes, I have a R model. I've put 2K street miles on the MPSC2's and have zero complaints. I thought about the MPSC2's but, have seen folks run through them in a single weekend...though they may not last very long. I'm assuming I would get much more life out of NT01's...at least this is my assumption?
 

Fair

Go Big or Go Home
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272
462
Plano, TX
Love the 350R - great car right out of the box, with very little prep needed for more serious track use.

B61G9185-L.jpg

Of course tires your main consumable, and the one thing that can alter lap times the most. On a GT350R you have a number good options but even more worse options:
  • 305/30/19 NT-01 is an option, but I'm not a huge fan of this tire for a number of reasons. They wear somewhat quickly (100 TW) but they just don't offer a lot of performance for that wear.
  • Hankook RS-4 in the same size is a great option at $330/each, but it looks to be "sold our for the season". Very popular tire, we have had customer rave about them
  • Bridgestone RE-71R at $366 is a fast tire - I'd wager its as quick if not quicker than the NT-01. We have done a lot of testing on this tire in our 2018 GT with great success. It does heat up quickly, however, so you might save that for 200 TW competition events (like we do).
  • The Michelin PS4 at $382 is a higher cost, higher treadwear tire, but this is a great "do everything" option that can be daily driven and tracked for a long period. Very high quality tire.
  • The MPSC2 at $400 is a very high wear tire, for sure. I'm not sure who they are targeting with this one, other than magazine writers. Its a ringer that wears like a Hoosier, and grips and wears a little worse.
  • The Pirelli Trofeo-R at $520 is a silly option with very high cost and wear.
  • The Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3R at $345 has a long name, but high wear and decent grip. The 1LE guys use this one sometimes.
  • The Khumo V720 at $277 wears VERY quickly and overheats badly. Its good for maybe 1-2 weekends, and is priced accordingly.
  • Toyo Proxes R888 at $430 is pricey and wears quickly, with 100 TW. Its not that fast, and I do not understand the fascination with either the Toyo or Nitto 100 TW options.
Because a lot of my customers are kind enough to let me test on track in their cars, I've driven on all of these except the Trofeo and Supercar 3R. Of those above the Hankook RS-4 is probably the best tire for wear/grip/cost track tire that can be driven to events, with the RE-71R coming up close behind - it is actually faster and has more grip, but the limitations I stated above.

DSCN1518-S.jpgDSCN1528-S.jpg

I use the 305/30/19 RE-71R on my own S550 (when I'm not running Hoosier A7s) and have 7 weekends on my first set, but they are slowing down a tick. I get this much life out of them by never driving them on the street, and treat them like race tires and only run 2-5 laps per session. For someone new to track events I think it would be hard to go wrong with the Hankook RS-4, when they come back in stock. You should be able to get more track miles and have less chance of overheating them.

B61G2341-L.jpg

As for pads, the GT350 & R come with damn good brakes in stock form, for a novice. I'd swap to a better brake fluid (Motul RBF600) and go to some HPDEs. After you do 1 or 2, you might notice that better pads are needed. If you see any fade ever, its time. We've sold a lot of G-LOC pads to GT350/R customers. For people quick enough to need real track pads in these cars we recommend R12 compounds front and rear for most folks, but for new guys we go R12 front/R10 rear.

B61G0249-S.jpgPA160797-S.jpg

Another early mod that many GT350 and R customers opt for are camber-caster plates, which we sell a lot of. These allow you to get to the alignment settings that Ford recommends for track use on these cars. Camber adjustable top mounts pay for themselves rather quickly in tire wear savings, too.

P7A_0514-L.jpg

Give us a call at Vorshlag if you want to chat more about road course prep for any S550. :)

Cheers,
 
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If you’re just getting started with an R you need to do nothing except get a performance alignment. Dial in as much negative camber as you can and spend your money on track time and instruction.
 
205
243
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
Virginia
Thanks everyone. I'm just trying to figure out where to spend wisely without my overthinking taking over. I've also considered picking up some PS4S for the street/CF wheels, pull my PSC2's mount them on my track wheels and run them staggered until they are done... I just don't want to find out they'll only last 1-2 track days, especially since I'd only be able to swap them left to right. I've put 2K street miles on them, except for on/off ramps and some back country road runs I feel like I'm wasting them? Maybe this option would be better option? Ideally I'd like to make it to 3 events next year. Hopefully on the same tire...regardless CC plates are planned prior and would help elevate some of the outer tire wear I've seen PSC2's suffer without in some post.
 
Thanks everyone. I'm just trying to figure out where to spend wisely without my overthinking taking over. I've also considered picking up some PS4S for the street/CF wheels, pull my PSC2's mount them on my track wheels and run them staggered until they are done... I just don't want to find out they'll only last 1-2 track days, especially since I'd only be able to swap them left to right. I've put 2K street miles on them, except for on/off ramps and some back country road runs I feel like I'm wasting them? Maybe this option would be better option? Ideally I'd like to make it to 3 events next year. Hopefully on the same tire...regardless CC plates are planned prior and would help elevate some of the outer tire wear I've seen PSC2's suffer without in some post.

You are definitely wasting the PScup2 on the street if your intention is to track them. Get a second set of wheels for the street and save the CF wheels and cup2 tires for the track. Nothing will beat the weight savings of the CF wheels and not street driving on them except going to the track just helps save them from road hazards


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205
243
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
Virginia
You are definitely wasting the PScup2 on the street if your intention is to track them. Get a second set of wheels for the street and save the CF wheels and cup2 tires for the track. Nothing will beat the weight savings of the CF wheels and not street driving on them except going to the track just helps save them from road hazards


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The Square setup I ordered will be for the track. I do believe on the street I could be just as happy with PS4S and save the Cup2’s for next season.
 
The Square setup I ordered will be for the track. I do believe on the street I could be just as happy with PS4S and save the Cup2’s for next season.

The wheels you have are lighter and better for the track. Less unsprung weight in each corner. No matter what you do for aftermarket wheels your not getting under 20 lbs a wheel. Square setup is nice for rotation of track tires but I can tell you I never ended up needing to rotate mine this past season. Get camber set right and you won’t have the uneven wear. Depends on the track and driver for alignment settings. Ford track setup to start with puts the front at -1.7 and rear at -1.25. In at -2 front and -1.5 rear currently. May adjust to -2.5. I forgot my pyro last time out so I couldn’t check.


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My suggestion is to swap brake fluid and take it to a track day stock. Figure out how the car behaves as is, and wear out the stock MPSC2s and pads. Both are more than enough initially.

Then figure out your wants based on how the car felt, your speed/comfort level, and obviously budget. My suggestion for pads is Ferodo, can swap with stock pads on same rotor, and they're great. Tires for decent stick and long lasting: Hankook RS4 and Nitto NT01.

Good luck.
 
My suggestion is to swap brake fluid and take it to a track day stock. Figure out how the car behaves as is, and wear out the stock MPSC2s and pads. Both are more than enough initially.

Then figure out your wants based on how the car felt, your speed/comfort level, and obviously budget. My suggestion for pads is Ferodo, can swap with stock pads on same rotor, and they're great. Tires for decent stick and long lasting: Hankook RS4 and Nitto NT01.

Good luck.

Stock pads are ferodo already.


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I can't agree enough with sticking with factory to start with.

I've done several track days this year and am still not out-driving the factory tires. The factory pads did wear down very quickly and I'm currently using DS2500s. Maybe I need Terry Fair to coach me....
 
I believe they only make the dsuno for the 350 up front, which should be fine considering the mu vs temp curves showing the dsuno more agressive at high heat. They do offer both for rear though.

I had the ds1.11 up front and a pfc trial pad out back on my gt and it was incredible. I have no complaints with factory pads so I'll run them on street and the dsuno on track next year, same disk ;)
 

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