Here is BMW racecar build part 3 of my ongoing series. You can read previous write-ups by clicking here.
With my racecar now lighter and fully caged, it was time to get some other basic parts fitted to the BMW 335i. For a racecar to be fast around a track, it needs to slow down just as quick as it speeds up and be able to do this lap after lap.
Putting the brakes on, so to speak
Attend a track day with your road car and the first thing to take serious strain is the brakes. Depending on the mass of your car and how powerful your car is, the brakes can start to go off on your second or third hot lap already, never mind trying to do two 15-minute practice sessions, then a 15-minute qualifying session and then two full races of at least 8 to 12 laps on a given race day.
When it comes to brakes and serious racing, standard equipment is not going to cut it, and quite honestly, nor are the manufacturers upgrade options offered for your road car. That stuff is good for fast road use and not racetrack work.
Fortunately, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to companies around the world that offer proper racing brakes, but I have seen many a racer owner skimp on one of the most important parts on a racecar. In saying that, spending an obscene amount of money on what looks like very cool brake upgrade kits from overseas (thanks to our weak currency) is not always the best solution.
One, it costs, two, there is no local backup should something go wrong. So, I decided to look locally and for me, it was a no-brainer, I contacted Rinaldo Cassasola, the man behind Vari Racing Brakes.
His products speak for themselves on really fast cars all around the country, and you can see him at the various tracks, too, so you know his knowledge, backup and spare parts are not far away from you at any given time. But sentiment is one thing, the product itself has to deliver too.
Made of this
Vari Racing manufactures 4, 6 and 10 pot (!) calipers, and they are CNC machined from billet aluminium, designed in-house and are the lightest on the market. And the calipers come with a lifetime warranty for added peace of mind.
There is nothing they can’t build for you and the calipers can be finished in red, black, blue, gold, silver and gun-metal grey by hard anodising, or ceramic in red, blue, yellow or orange. And the calipers are designed around common race pads made by almost all aftermarket manufacturers, namely, Ferodo Racing, Brembo, Performance Friction, Carbon Lorain, Endless, Wilwood, Hawk, Padgid and EBC.
I went with much bigger and better than the standard BMW offering, and fitted a set of 6-pot, 356 x 35 mm heat treated, directional discs, bolted onto floating bells with 25 mm Ferodo Racing pads on the front and 4-pot, 345 x 28mm, matching spec set-up on the rear, all running braided hoses and proper racing brake fluid. I will stop as fast as I go!
My next update we will concentrate on the fully adjustable XYZ Racing suspension that has just been fitted to the car.