Drag Race Brake Tips - TBM drag brakes, and lightweight brakes in general, come with several benefits: lighter weight, significantly less rotating weight and, in the case of TBM brakes, lower drag and higher clamping force. All of these are great advantages, however the lack of brake system mass also requires some attention on the driver’s part.
Lightweight brakes must be used in a particular manner to get maximum life and maintain the highest margin of safety. The method is simple: you should either be on the brakes firmly or off them completely. Again, be on the brakes firmly or off of them completely.
Notice I said firmly, not at the edge of locking up. Proper brake balance is essential and we will discuss that in a separate post. In virtually all applications, “dragging” the brake is counter-productive.
The overall braking process should look something like this: Just after the finish line, you should get on the brakes firmly to scrub off a significant amount of speed, down to 40-50 mph. After that, get completely off the pedal to let rotors and pads cool. Then, as you approach your turnout, depress the pedal again to decelerate to turning speed.
These few simple rules will make your race car faster, safer, and more durable.