What people are saying about CL Brakes



2009 Car


2010 Car

"The CL Sintered Brake Pads are the best we’ve ever tried. Bed-in was simple, the bite is powerful yet predictable, and they’ve lasted many times longer than anything we’ve ever tested. We’re also still on our first set of rotors for the year, which is unbelievable. Do yourself a favor and try this new sintered technology.”

- JC Meynet, running the RC6E compound

AQ Motorsports/Harman Motive Time Attack STI

2010 Season

  • Super Lap Battle Limited AWD Limited class champion and track record holder
  • Speed Ventures Evo Challenge Champion
  • 7 wins, 7 records

2009 Season

  • Redline Time Attack at Buttonwillow, set track record in qualifying (broke motor in main)
  • Superlap Battle qualifier at Firebird 1st place, track record
  • SLB Willow Springs 1st place, track record
  • RTA Willow Springs 1st place, re-broke track record
  • SLB at California Speedway 1st place, track record
  • RTE at Spring Mountain 2nd place, set track record in practice and qualifying, lost by .3 total in main
  • Subiefest at Willow Springs, 2nd in Unlimited class (against cars with slicks), re-set Mod/Ltd/TTU record
  • "Octane Report" Challenge race at Willow Springs 1st place, re-broke track record


"I can honestly say these CL Brakes RC6 pads are the best pads I have ever used! From the inital bite, to let off or transition from brake to gas, to the their consitisant stopping force, these pads work amazing..... But to make them even better, the pad wear is amazing as well! I ran these pads hard, 5 days at Miller and one good day at Blackhawk and they look almost new! And on top of that, my girodisc rotors are in great shape as well. I had previously gone through a set of rotors in ten events thanks to the harsh effects of PFC01 pads. I love these pads and intend to run them till they are shot!" -RC6 compound

- Ryan Upham, running the RC6 compound

AMS NASA TT-S Lancer Evo


  • 2nd place at all NASA Midwest events (2009)
  • 4th place Redline Time Attack- Autobahn (2009)
  • 1st place in 5 Street Unlimited races with Midwestern Council of Sports Car Clubs, season championship, with multiple track records (2008)

To learn more about this car and driver, visit: http://www.hamflex.com/


"I ran the CL Brake pads at Road America in 2009, notorious for being extremely harsh on brakes. The CL pads worked awesome on my car, easily dealing with the high brake temps and lasting all day without showing any signs of wear. They were quiet, easy to modulate and had little brake dust...pretty amazing for this type of pad!"

- Ryan Gates, running the RC6 compound

AMS Lancer Evo X

2009 Accomplishments

Redline Time Attack

  • 2009 Modified AWD Class Champion
  • Buttonwillow - 1st Place Overall Mod
  • Autobahn - 1st Place Overall Mod
  • Nashville - 1st Place Overall Mod
  • CMP - 1st Place Overall Mod
  • E-Town - 1st Place Overall Mod
  • Spring Mountain - 1st Place Overall Mod
  • Auto Club Speedway - 1st Place Overall Mod

Super Lap Battle

Buttonwillow Finale - 1st Place Overall Limited

NASA Time Trials

Road America - 1st Place TTB

Road America - Fastest Lap of Day

Track Records

  • Autobahn 1:30.7
  • Nashville - 1:04.4
  • CMP - 1:38.1
  • E-Town - 1:09.1
  • Spring Mountain - 2:24.8
  • Buttonwillow - 1:49.8
  • Auto Club Speedway - 1:43.4

2009 Win Percentage • 9/9 - 100%

To learn more about this car and driver, please visit: http://gates311.com/


"Let me start by saying, just buy them! Stop looking at reviews and analyzing the data and just buy them. I bought them for my daily driver to test them and even my mechanic, who also rallies, came back from the test drive and said he is "buying some tonight". Now I have CL Pads on my dedicated rally car as well. There's nothing like the confidence of going into a corner hot and knowing exactly what's going to happen, whether its the first lap or the last. There's no waiting for them to warm up, and no fade in the last couple laps.

The most impressive test was when I drove an hour down the freeway to a friend's house in the rain and slush, (my brakes were very wet and cold). I exited the highway on an almost dry off ramp, and pressed the brakes with normal pressure. They were right there with solid, controllable bite. Thats how they behave in any condition! With other pads I had to consider different braking points determined by my lap and the amount of heat in the brakes. Although minimal, its was just one more thing i had to think about...well not anymore!

I must also mention Essex Parts' incredible service. Whenever i call, they're never too busy for me, and I'm just an amateur weekend racer. Thanks essex!"

- Ryan Wizner, running the RC6 compound

Subaru WRX STI


"I've used PFC97 pads for the last 2 years and these hold up just as good if not better for my application. They bite surprisingly well when they are cold during street driving, but also hold up to hot lap after hot lap at the road course. The brake dust is also not as bad as your typical street/race pad & they seem to treat my rotors very well with minimal wear & tear. Modulation at speed is real good & the pads give me confidence to dive far into the turns, the pads help the brake system talk to me & give the feedback i'm looking for when pushing it hard. On top of all this, all the guys at Essex know what they are doing & provide the awsome customer service. Im a believer & this is my new favorite brake pad!"

- Nils Luefven, running the RC5+ compound

AMS/Robispec Lancer Evo IX

3 time Overall Redline Time Attack & 2008 Superlap Battle Street Tire Champion

Watch Nils beat on the RC5+ at Spring Mtn. on 4/4/10. Nils' car puts down 448hp/472tq to the wheels on a Mustang Dyno at high boost. Not too shabby for a low noise, low dust pad!


“After adding a new BBK, stainless lines, and the CL RC6 pads, my initial reaction was "Holy sh*t!" I couldn't believe how much more willing to decelerate my car was. The initial bite seemed very good, w/ little delay waiting for them to build up heat and start working. Also, as I pushed harder, I didn't notice any significant drop-off as the sessions went on. I’m really looking forward to trying the RC8’s as my next set of pads."

- Fred Turner, running the RC6 compound

580hp C5 Corvette


"These pads bite!! 38 degrees (F) outside at 6am, I made the switch to the CL RC6 race compound from my street pads. The very first time I hit the brakes, they bit hard. There was virtually no bed in required and this is a huge time saver for someone out running HPDE. When cold, they are LOUD! But it is nice to know if you need to run to the gas station in between runs and the brakes are cold, you will have stopping power if you need it. When you are on the track and you heat them up they are much quieter but the bite stays strong. After long straights, I experienced absolutely no fade from these pads. Previous days on different pads were not so fortunate. The pedal was firm from the first stop to the very last over my two day event. Given my limited time on the track, my only concern is how fast they will eat my rotors. After a two day event, the rotors have not shown much wear, but my testing is incomplete without enough time at the track with these pads. Lastly, overall customer service from Essex was fantastic. When I need another set of track pads, they are going to be CL and I’ll buy them from Essex."

-Jordan Celeste, running the RC6 compound

2004 Subaru WRX STI with a Crawford 2.65 liter stroker long block, GT35r turbo @ 20psi on the track with about 400whp, stock brembo calipers front and rear.


"I used the RC5+ pads for four 20-25 minute session at Road America yesterday. RA is a long track (>4miles) with three big braking zones where you come down from 140-150 mph in a fast car to 50-60 for the turn. I drive in instructor/advanced groups and can keep up with good drivers in modified Z06s and such. I have been using Raybestos pads recently, but was having problems with them bedding correctly.

The good: Don't have to bed these pads! The RC5+ pads felt about the same at the beginning of the first session to the end of the last session (after some cool-down). There was no pulsating pedal. No problems with uneven pad transfer or "warped rotors". I haven't measured the rotor and pad thicknesses, but wear seemed very reasonable. I'm sure I can get several more track days out of the pads. Time will tell. There was no large pad fade (see below). Only minor grooving with no glazing or surface cracking on the rotors.

The tinybit bad: Near the end of the sessions, the bite was reduced (coefficient of friction decreased). I like to brake at the point of imminent ABS actuation. Towards the end of the session, I definitely had to push on the brake pedal harder to get to that point. In fact, I was uncomfortable pushing as hard as I needed to. The pads did not get near to fading completely, and with a lower-powered or lighter car this may not have been even noticed.

That being said, these pads are fantastic. I have never used or heard of a pad that is as close to a perfect multi-purpose pad as the RC5+. I was outbraking Z06s, M3s, and other cars all day. Then I didn't hear a squeak out of them for the entire 5 hour drive back home. I ran with a GTR in one session. He was able to easily pull me on the straights, but I was actually able to make up some ground on braking. Not enough to actually keep up with him, though.

Bottom line: I was very definitely impressed by the CL pads."

-Peter Laks, running the RC5+ compound

Lancer Evo with Centric premium rotors, ATE blue fluid, a modified AMS brake cooling kit, and SS flexible lines. Tires were 255/40 NT05s on 9.5 inch rims.


"I have used several different brands and makes of brake pads. Hawk HT-10,DTC-30, DTC-60, DTC-70. Raybestos ST-42 and St-43. The CL pads RC8 are better in every aspect compared to the most aggressive Hawk and Raybestos pad. The initial bite characteristic of this pad is not overly aggressive. It has a linear feel to it even when I aggressivly apply a lot of pressure in an abrubt manner. They also release very well, not disrupting the balance of the car. It does not take long at all for the pads to come up to temperature. I feel confident with my brakes after braking 1 time in my first warm up lap.

The CL RC8 pads seem to have very good wear characteristics as well. The brake pads themselves seem to show very little wear on them, and my slotted rotors have no grooves or abnormal marks. It seems I will get double the life out of my pads and rotors compared to the DTC-70 and ST-43. Since I use a very expensive brake system, the replacement parts are not cheap. I know in the long run, using these pads will save me money."

- Trent Choi, running the RC8 compound

Rufast Racing/ Stance Suspension Time Attack Evo 8, Brembo GTR monoblock 8 piston front, 4 piston rear, 650whp on low boost


"Finally tested the CL RC6 compound vs the Carbotech XP10/8. I like both...a lot. They both stop the car equally well and do not fade. They have a different feel. The CLs have more initial bite. For example - it takes less pedal pressure to activate the ABS - I've always thought the Carbotechs felt soft, as in a soft pedal (although I have no problem with the way they work, its just a feel thing) - The CLs provide a firmer pedal, which I like better. The Carbotechs are fussy about bedding the pad - they will judder if not bedded properly and they don't like to mix compounds - The CLs were really nice this way. Sunday morning - to bed the CLs, I just did a few medium speed stops on the public road and good to go. They just scrubbed off the Carbotech transfer layer without any fuss. Love it. Neither pad has been particularly noisy for me and the street manners of both are just fine IMO...since I don't care about dust. Cold performance is fine. Overall I like the RC6 better because of the pad feel and they don't need bedding. But, they are more expensive. I'm going to continue to collect data. Because of the cost difference - the longevity will be important. If the long term cost is near or better than the CTs then I've found my new pad."

- Brad Bissette, running the RC6 compound (comparison to Carbotech)

Advanced Group - C5 Corvette with the LS6 (405hp Z06 engine), stock brakes and the Hoosier Grand Am Cup tires from last year (275/35/18 all around)



"A little review of the CL RC6E (long wearing version of the RC6 pad) from this weekend at Pocono - which included 5 sessions on Sat, 3 sessions on Sun. Brakes worked really well. Very consistent all weekend. I could get into ABS (on my stock size Nitto 555s) at will. I beat the crap out of the car (oil was 312F) and the brakes held up really well. The left front smoked a bit after one session, but that was it. After the event - discs are good shape. All in all, I'm very happy with them and would recommend them."

- Ben Lesnak, running the RC6E compound on a C5 Corvette, and RC6 on his S2000


Photo above shows the CL RC6 after 170 brutal miles on a track prepped C6Z06

"After running numerous pad compounds, 5 of my friends and I have been running PFC 01 because of their long wear and performance properties, making them cost effective. Two of us just tested the CL RC6 vs. the PFC01 for a comparison. We used two 2008 zo6's, both stock engines with Stoptech st 60 and st 40, quantum brake ducts, ccw 18x11 and 18x13 with MPSC. We ran at Buttonwillow track 1 cw, 170 + track miles for the day running from 30 to 45 minute sessions.

Both pads are similar with quick initial bite. I liked the CL pads' firm feeling and how they performed under repeated hard braking with a consistent smooth release. Both pads worked well with the stock ABS. I was running with a GT3 and was able out brake him. The CL pads appear to be rotor friendly. I did not experience any fade or soft pedal all day. My car felt more stable under heavy braking with the CL pads verses the PFC.

The PFC fronts wore slightly more than 2MM, no taper. The CL RC6 Pad wear on the fronts was 3MM, no taper. The rear pads used less than 1 MM on both cars. We both drive similarly, and our pad wear has always been close. I did push the CL brakes extremely hard, so that might account for the slightly greater wear.

Both pads are excellent pads and you would not be disappointed with the CL's. I also had a passenger who only uses 01 pads with his Brembos. He was so impressed that he wanted to try a set of RC6's. I will be ordering more CL fronts for my car this week. The real savings will be if I can get longer rotor life with the CL pads. I should know by the end of the summer."

- Dean Sullivan, running the RC6 compound (comparison to PFC01)

Advanced Group - 2008 Z06 Corvette, stock engine, StopTech BBK, quantum brake ducts, ccw 18x11 and 18x13 with MPSC.


"I got a chance to use my RC6 pads at Mid Ohio. I have used several pads ranging from Pagid (black, orange, yellow) and PFC (97, 01). I was pleased with the initial bite of the RC6. It gave me the confidence to stay on the throttle until just before the apex of the turn. The RC6 bite required minimal brake pressure. The speed was reduced quickly and I was able to modulate my trail braking and get back on the throttle quicker. A few times I was passing a car late (in the brake zone) on the back straight and had to really come on the brakes hard. The initial bite was maintained the entire time with no fading. I sometimes ran back to back sessions and did not see any fade issues. That being said, I am running stainless steel brake lines, air cooling ducts, Motul 600, Stoptech ST-40 calipers and 355mm rotors. My car only weighs 3100 lbs. I think the pad is great for the track. I switch for the street, so no comment! Looking forward to Watkins Glen in June and will hopefully beat my best time using the new pads. I recommend the CL pads, the compound is up to you!"

- Adam Argenbright, running the RC6 compound

Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX


"Track report: I ran the CL RC6E all weekend. Absolutely loved them. Plenty of brake torque and outstanding bite. (I'm running RE-11 tires, which are street tires, so any decent race pad will overwhelm the tires quickly, and the RC6E certainly did this.) Never faded once, even in 90+ degree Texas summer temps. (using Motul 600 fluid) What a great feeling to have complete confidence in your brakes. Didn't really have to bed them, just started using them. I drove to the track on the pads, and they honestly seemed like street pads in that they had plenty of bite & stopping power when cold. No noise whatsoever. On the street or on the track. This was the most surprising part for me--I was expecting the "freight train" sound of race pads. I did use high-temp ceramic lube on the metal-to-metal contact points, not sure if that helped out.

I didn't see much wear on the pads, either. I wouldn't have expected much, given that these are endurance pads. I haven't measured my rotors yet, but I will sometime this week. I wouldn't expect much wear to them, either. Dust was moderate, but certainly not any big deal, and better than other race pads I've run. All in all, I'd have to say that these are the best race compound pads I've ever run. Just didn't have to think about my brakes at all--they were always there and they always felt the same, which is exactly what I want. Big thumbs up for the CL RC6E. I definitely recommend them for the Evo X, and probably most other cars as well."

- Michael Foertsch, running the RC6E compound

Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X on RE-11's

Michael is an instructor for the following organizations: Porsche Club of America (PCA), BMWCCA, The Driver's Edge, Viper Days/NARRA, Texas Motorsports Club

*That pic isn't really Michael's car...just an awesome placeholder until he gets us a pic.


"Ok, I waited almost one year to try these pads, and all I can thinkabout is pressing them harder next time out. I’ve put one light track day on them, and then this past week ran them for three additional days at VIR. By the third day at VIR, I felt that no matter how hard I pressed they just would not give up. No fade, no glazing on the rotors. The grip was truly fantastic, and because of this I did not have to hold on the brake as long as I was accustomed to. Therefore rotor temperatures were slightly reduced. So after some hard use with very little sign of pad wear I’m looking forward to a long season of track time on this set of pads.

Also my rotors look fantastic given 4 days of track use thus far, and several thousand miles on the street. I drive my car quite a bit on the street and can happily report that these pads work fantastic in sub freezing temperatures and hard rain. Slight squeaking under light brake pressure around town, and naturally because the pads have no plastic attached to the rear of the backing plate they rattle inside the calipers going over bumps. I’ll gladly accept that noise to finally find a pad that appears it will last me 10 + track days and lots of street miles. Thanks so much for providing the best pad around."

- David Ziminski, running the RC6 compound

Ford GT with AP Racing six piston brake kit

"I had the opportunity to try a set of the CL RC6 Front pads on an Evo IX MR. The first thing you notice after installing them is the brake pedal feel..like you installed a brick instead of a brake pad. The bite and torque of the compound is very impressive and very controllable. With the torque these pads can generate, getting the ABS to trigger was easy regardless of your speed with either street tires or R-comps. On the track they are exceptional; the pads performance is very consistent and very strong regardless of their temp. I was not able to get the pads to fade even though I was able to boil the brake fluid, which shortened my day.

I am installing a BBK on the car and will be trying a set of the RC6e with the new brake system, and am looking forward to really giving the CL pads a good workout. But from the very short time I was able to really use the RC6...the pads are well worth the price."

- Peter Tiebout, after running the RC6 compound

Motorsports Performance Group


Used the CL RC8s on track last Wednesday. In a word they were great!! Initial pad bite is excellent and the brake torque is huge; these pads just stop the car!! Modulation is also excellent. Very easy to modulate the brake pedal for the required amount of brake needed. Pad release perfect imho.

I did three run sessions in an advanced group, and there was very little brake dust on my track rims when I was done. Noise was also very minimal even on track. There was the occasional squeal around slow corners but that's all I noticed; (can't say I would have been paying much attention to brake squeal on the really fast corners though!! lol). With my Carbotech XP12s I experienced severe brake squeal even when not on the pedal at times; the CL RC8s were completely absent of noise when off the brakes.

I did not notice any fade from the pads, i.e. the car always slowed down exactly where I wanted it to. I did get a slightly 'spongy' pedal, but that's from my poor bleed/flush prior to the track.

All in all I have to say that these pads are excellent for the track in my limited experience, AND they are also far more 'liveable' when used on the street in comparision to my XP12s.

- David Bishop, running the RC8 compound

Nissan GT-R


"The reality is that the car stopped better and the range of control was excellent. The CL pads also ran cooler than the pads we usually run."

-Tyler Tanner, after setting the fastest time of the day with CL RC8 pads

2800 lbs, 550HP Late Model with 10” slicks


"I use my 2009 BMW M3 as a daily driver, for performance driving schools, and for several open lapping days throughout the season.

As I got faster I started to have vibration problems with the stock brake pads. Vibrations would build up throughout a track day and would not entirely go away even after I tried to cold burnish the brakes days afterward. The vibration got so bad one time that I had to miss the second half of one driving school - I had no confidence in my brakes. Very frustrating.

I decided it was time to use track pads for my track days and switch back over to OEM pads for street use. I was now confronted with how to select track pads that would be compatible with my OEM pads on the same set of rotors. I'd read warnings that the transfer materials for two different pads could be incompatible and cause issues. After much research it became clear that no pad company is doing any research regarding compatibility of their pads with other pads.

Friends with my same car have used Pagid pads somewhat successfully, but still had vibration issues. We believe the vibration comes from unevenly deposited transfer layers of pad material on the rotors. Perhaps incompatible pad materials are a contributing issue. It's hard to tell.

My goal was to have excellent track braking *and* totally smooth street braking. In short, the best of both worlds.

Late in my research I came across Essex and their CL Brake offerings. I was very pleased to see that these pads don't use a transfer layer and thus can't leave an uneven transfer layer and don't require traditional burnishing before use. I called and talked to Ryan and he confirmed the somewhat amazing qualities of the CL Brakes pads.

I bought the endurance pads (RC6E) because I didn't need the highest level of friction and was very interested in minimizing rotor and pad wear.

I installed the pads myself and ran one BMW performance driving school and 3 open lapping track days. But I wasn't going to declare victory until I had actual results in hand. Here's what I experienced:

· In normal street driving the RC6E's quickly removed the brake vibration I was feeling - I suspect they just wore off the existing uneven transfer layer.

· During all the track days I had immediate bite, was very impressed with the hard pedal feel, even modulation, and no fading. For the first time in months I had complete confidence in my brakes while on the track. I was already impressed with my OEM M3 pads, but the RC6E's were markedly better in every respect.

· After the track days during street driving I did not experience any significant vibrations with the RC6E's. The pads were very noisy though, but could be quieted a bit if I washed the rotors. Still, these pads are not quiet enough for daily driving - though I still proudly did so anyway.

· Now for the real test. What would happen when I put my OEM pads back on for street driving? I'm very happy to report that I'm back to very smooth vibration free braking on the streets.

Mission accomplished: amazing track performance and smooth street braking.

I strongly recommend the CL Brakes pads. Two of my friends are already planning to move to these pads for their Lotus Elise and Exige."

- Jeff Herman, Running the RC6E compound

E92 M3


"The pads worked great! It was a brutally hot day out at VIR, but the pads and car took the abuse without flinching. The pads were easier to modulate than the ones they replaced, and they had tire-locking power at the end of a 35-minute race on the hottest weekend I've ever competed. I was loving the."

Driver of the Grassroots Motorsports Magazine John Cooper Works Mini racecar, running the RC5+ compound


"The RC8 pads offer a huge improvement in braking force over other products we've used. Competing in Time Attack, we have less than one lap to warm up or bed-in pads before having to go full blast to try and set a record lap. The RC8 pads offer full stopping force fresh out of the box, in the first turn, on the first lap.

I also really appreciate that after our short timed sessions, the pads don't leave any strange deposits or material on the rotors, which helps keep vibration to a minimum and reinforces confidence with great pedal feel. There is also little to no perceivable wear on the pads or rotors!

CL RC8 brake pads have helped the Professional Awesome Racing Evo set record lap times at Auto Club Speedway and we will continue to use RC8 pads for all future Time Attack events we compete in!"

- Dan O'Donnell, after winning his class at the 2010 Auto Club Speedway Redline Time Attack with the RC8 compound

Professional Awesome Evo VII

Preston Peltier Late model winning on CL RC8

Photos courtesy of Chris Ragle.

Preston Peltier Late trophy with CL RC8

"I love these pads!"

- Preston Peltier, 2010 PASS (Pro All Star Series) South, & PASS National Champion, referring to the CL RC8 compound

2010 Season highlights include:

Winner of Easter Bunny 150 @ Hickory Motor Speedway

Orange Blossom 150 @ Orange County Speedway

Over the Mountain 150 @ Hickory Motor speedway

Robert Martai Evo winning Mt Washington Hill Climb

Robert Martai Evo winning Mt Washington Hill Climb rain

"I have done our first event on Carbone Lorraine (CL) pads that I got from Essexparts.com. I am running a pedal box so it is very important to have good pads to have a great brake force and feeling under my feet. The CL is nothing short of that. At the race event never experienced any fading or any kind of sign to over working the brake system so as the pads. These pads are very good even in cold conditions, and they just don’t give up. Makes you really thrust in your brakes. I literally drove them from hot to cold air temperature and back, with dry to wet conditions, the brake feeling stayed a same. It was very predictable and honest felling all around.

I am still using the stock rotors and calipers on our Evo X rally car, and these pads make them the whole another level. We finish our first race with these pads in the first place!

Thank you essex parts and CL!"

- Robert Martai, 2011 Climb to the Clouds (Mt. Washington) R1 class champion, Mitsubishi Evo X, CL RC8 front & RC6 rear pads


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