Chin Motorsports Event Mgr. Review of our Essex/AP Racing BRZ Sprint Kit (with video)04.30.2015
One of the event managers (and a very good driver) from Chin Motorsports recently contacted us about getting some brake help on his Subaru BRZ (Chin is one of the premier HPDE organizers in the eastern half of the country...check them out if you want a safe, fun, event!). His biggest complaint about the OEM system was the long-term running costs. He was burning up a set of pads every three days on track, frequently rebuilding calipers, and struggling with pad knockback. He installed our Essex Designed AP Racing Sprint Kit...problems solved! Here's what he has to say:
"Bit the bullet and went with the AP Sprint Kit BBK from Essex Parts
After the first weekend, I don't know why I didn't do this sooner.
First off, great customer service from Essex Parts. Jeff and his team did a great job taking care of me, putting the package together and very straight forward installation guide with photos as well. Also after the sale, following up to see how the kit was performing. I'd recommend them to anyone. They are truly passionate about the products they sell and really care about your experience with them and the performance of the products.
The installation was a breeze, the only additional difficulty I had was having to remove the TF Brake Cooling kit for the OEM setup. The TF brake cooling kit will not work with the AP kit, as the backing plate for the TF kit will offset the rotor from where it is intended to be in relationship to the caliper.
My biggest gripe with the OEM brakes not really with the braking performance overall, but the fact that I was going through a set of pads every 3 track days, and a set of rotors every 7 days. It was killing me on consumables. Also, having to rebuild the calipers every 6 months sucked, and was having severe pad knockback issues when exiting a corner and getting on the curbing at track out. Also, during the hot days at Sebring with a passenger in the car, I was getting a soft pedal, which we determined to be the brake fluid compressing.
Now that we've put 8 track days on the car, and approximately 25 heat cycles on the current setup, I must say I am impressed by the AP Sprint Kit. The pads (Cobalt Friction XR2) are literally on the backing plate (whoops!) but I'm hardly seeing any heat checking at all on the rotors; the AP rotors look like the OEM ones did after 1 or 2 sessions. If we were on the OEM rotors, by 8 days, they'd be heat checked to death, with some major cracks. The best part is how much we've extended the life of a set of pads by more than double. We went from 3 days to 7.5 days on a set of pads. I also found that we could hardly get the Cobalt XR2 pads up to temperature, which goes to show you how efficient the AP kit is vs. OEM, where we were able to get the XR2 pads up to temp on our out-lap by the first corner. We'll be going to a lower temp pad up front next time around (XR3's), which also means it'll be even friendlier to the rotors. Very consistent pedal feel, NO knockback which is comforting, and noticeable increase in braking performance."