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Brakes and Tires
7/11/2012 7:46:53 AM
Going into Turn 2 at Sebring, I was rudely surprised to find that I had no brakes; I mean pedal to the floor with no resistance. I put both feet in, downshifted, aimed for the grass and let the clutch out again. I did a major spin on the track and wound up on the grass without hitting anything. I got the car back to the paddock under its own power at 2 mph and Jim Blaisdell, my instructor, got it up on jackstands and pulled the wheels off. By "we" I mean Jim worked and I followed instructions. We found the inner brake pad from the R front was compeletly missing, backing and all. Jim's driving partner George Munson figured out that rear rotors had been installed on the front wheels. The rear rotors are single layer and much thinner than the double layer front rotors and this allowed enough room for the pad to fall out. I had changed pads and rotors at the track on my previous track day and was feeling proud of myself. Now I am just very embarrassed.
Jim and I drove the two afternoon sessions and the tires felt a little flat spotted but behaved well and the last session was the best of the weekend. It turns out that the tires were a little more than flat spotted. Pictures of the tires are in the Track Cars photo gallery. Three of the tires were flatted but the right front was not only flat spotted, but worn down through the steel belts into the "carcass" of the tire, the yellow stuff. I didn't even find that out until I got home. I don't know why it didn't blow out. I emailed Jim about it and he replied that we were "two lucky bums".
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