Customer Mailbox: Can I track the Ferodo DS2500 on my C6 Corvette Grand Sport?06.11.2020
A C6 Corvette enthusiast recently asked whether or not Ferodo DS2500 was a good brake pad choice for their intended usage. Our Jeff Ritter answered his question and offered some additional guidance and considerations:
"I'm currently overhauling my brake system on a 2011 C6 Grand Sport. I've got Spiegler SS Lines all around, new brake bolts and Endless RF650 fluid. While I have a LOT of track time prior to this corvette (former PCA instructor, more than 10 24hr/lemons races, some T1 racing in florida), this car isn't intended to be top of the lapping charts. Typically I run in the intermediate HPDE group on tracks I've never been to and the Advanced open-passing on tracks I have at least 10 hours on. I moved recently to the west coast and I intend to take this car all over and drive the tracks I've never been to such as Buttonwillow, the Ridge, Thunderhill, Laguna and Sonoma etc. Being that these are long drives, it's preferred that I'm not swapping pads and rotors at the track (other than critical failures).
In general I'm thinking of going to either flat blanks or Slotted discs for durability, but I'm new to vettes so I don't know the brands. And finally some street/track pads that are consistent. I've seen lots of talk about the Carbotech XP8 and Ferodo DS2500. I'm leaning towards the DS2500. Other key equipment... My suspension is staying stock, I do have a neutral alignment from a race shop locally and I'm running the Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3's (the compound from the SS1LE camaro).
Things I care about.
Not having to change often pads and rotors, ability to "show up and run".
Consistent performance (as you can see in my choice of endless fluid)
Longevity overall of components
Things I don't care about
Level of dust (my wheels have ceramic coatings over them so i'm not worried about the finish)
Ultimate peak performance, I wont be "passing on the brakes". I have 24hrs of lemons for that thrill and this car will be HPDE only, no actual races.
Lower noise, but I'm happy to take recommendations that have noise issues.
Thanks in advance for your time and review. It seems most people are either in the novice HPDE category and just running OEM, or are opposite in the full BBK or Pad/Rotor swap camp so I'm struggling to see through the fog in between.
The DS2500 is one of, if not the best, dual-purpose road/track pad compounds on the market. It has been for a very long time. We've had C7 Z06 customers run it at VIR in a pinch, and they weren't able to fade it. That said, as wtb-z notes above, wear rates are not going to be so great IMO. Since The front brakes are particularly problematic on these cars vs. any Porsche. The C6 devours front brakes. You need to focus your energies on the fronts...something to keep in mind if/when you have issues. Some notes:
Street tires and stock power (I'm assuming you don't have extra HP since you didn't mention that)- Street tires are good, but today's street tires have similar grip to R compound tires I autox'd with 20 years ago. Even though they're mild by today's standards vs. a Hoosier, they can still enable you to pour a lot of heat into your brakes.
- Not having to change often pads and rotors, ability to "show up and run"- It's unlikely you'll find many pads that will work better than the Ferodo DS2500 in this regard.
- Consistent performance (as you can see in my choice of endless fluid)- We have yet to see anybody consistently fade the DS2500. They have a very high max operating temperature, despite their nice manners on the street (low noise, good cold bite), which is a super rare combo.
- Longevity overall of components- This is where you're going to compromise a bit. Any milder pad that isn't going to chew your discs up when run cold aren't going to have the longevity of a full race compound.
- Level of dust (my wheels have ceramic coatings over them so I'm not worried about the finish)- Dust levels for the DS2500 are average. They aren't great, but certainly not horrible, and the dust is very quick and easy to remove...it doesn't stick, corrode, etc.
- Ultimate peak performance, I wont be "passing on the brakes". I have 24hrs of lemons for that thrill and this car will be HPDE only, no actual races.- The DS2500 is a great performer. They feel good, they're easy on discs, and it's unlikely you'll fade them.
- Lower noise, but I'm happy to take recommendations that have noise issues- DS2500 makes almost no noise. They can sometimes have a little squeak on your final roll-up to a stop, but that's about it.
The best news about the above situation is that the Ferodo DS compounds are all manufactured from the same core materials. That means they can be swapped on the same discs without having to re-bed, scrape the discs clean, etc. When you run them over top of each other, they don't have the judder, vibration, and uneven pad deposit issues that you often get when swapping across brands. If you have the DS2500 already bedded on your discs, all you'll need to do when swapping in the DS1.11 is do several hard stops to get the pad faces and disc faces mated up evenly. When you go out to the track, particularly the first time you run the DS1.11, ease into your early sessions and gradually bring up the heat to full tilt.
The above method can eliminate fooling around with the rear pads, and still give you the heat capacity and longevity you're seeking out of your brakes. Again, these cars are quite a bit different than a 911, and even a Cayman or Boxster. They are brutal on front brakes. If you are attentive to the fronts, you should be able to keep them performing well.
Again though, it's all about compromises if you don't want to swap to full race compounds. There is no pad that can do all things perfectly in all environments. You have to decide where you want to make trade-offs. If you left the DS1.11 in the front and drove them around on the street for two weeks, they'd start squealing like a stuck pig once all the pad material that was stuck to the disc faces was scraped off. They would then start to wear your discs down as well. When you go to the track though, they can handle the heat and won't wear as quickly. Those are that compound's trade-offs.
Again though, I like to think of the Ferodo pads as a system. You can swap them around and tailor to your needs, so they are quite versatile. You can see all our brake options for your car on our site:
AP Racing and Ferodo brake options for the C6 Corvette GS
Finally, given your experience and the car you're driving, you may find that your front brakes aren't up to the task, even with the race pads. The OEM C6Z/GS setup has some serious potential issues that have been discussed countless times on this forum. We'll be here if you find out that you need something a little more substantial, durable, and reliable.
The Essex 'Customer Mailbox' blog series is designed to answer frequently asked, real-world brake questions from customers around the world. We hope you find our answers helpful when making decisions about the brake system on your vehicle!