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Go Faster with Better Brakes

Brakes are often the most under-appreciated part on your car. Whether you are a weekend track warrior or a casual autocrosser, making a few small upgrades to your brakes can lead to significant improvements in performance.
Body: If you're into fast cars and racing, you'll know that there are a lot of things you can tweak on your car to make it perform better; engine, suspension, wheel and tire modifications can all make a big difference, but one key auto part that many people overlook is the brakes. I started autocrossing two years ago in my Subaru WRX. It's a great car to learn on; the turbocharged 4-cylinder boxer engine packs enough punch to accelerate quickly and the AWD not only helps you get the car up to speed quickly, but it helps you carry the speed through the corners too. But the biggest drawback to a WRX is its brakes. It doesn't have the same 4-piston Brembo brakes that it's bigger brother, the STi, has. So after my first few autocrosses on my stock brakes, I realized they needed some love if they were going to stand up to the abuse I was giving them
Since I was only racing every other weekend, I didn't want to get anything too extreme; I needed a brake setup that was tough enough to not develop brake fade after a few hot laps, but easy enough to live with in my daily commute. So after doing some research on the internet, I found that my stock brake lines at the caliper were actually made of rubber! Rubber brake lines flex, which can add a squishy feeling to the brake pedal. So I decided to add a set of stainless steel brake lines and upgrade my brake fluid to a DOT5 racing fluid while I was at it. I also wanted the brake pads to have more initial bite after I hit the pedal, so I upgraded to a set of Hawk HP brake pads. They seemed like a good compromise to me as they are marketed as a performance street pad and I had read a lot of good reviews on them. After getting these parts installed, I went for a quick drive and I could immediately tell the difference. The brake pedal was much firmer and the brakes were much more responsive to my pedal inputs. At my next autocross, the improvements in my lap times proved to me that improving your braking system really can make you faster! The better pedal feedback and higher friction brake pads allowed me to brake later, producing a higher average lap speed and slightly faster lap times. Plus I was able to do all three laps without experiencing any brake fade, which meant my brakes still performed well when my tires were hot and sticky. I certainly wasn't the fastest person out there, but I could tell that upgrading the brakes & brake rotors had made a big improvement to the way it performed on the track.
Resources: The benefits of using better
brakes like brake pads & rotors from Brembo brakes will help you actually go faster!

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