Brembo releases statement about IndyCar brake calipers

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – With brakes being a hot-button topic in the Verizon IndyCar Series paddock this weekend, Brembo has sought to clarify its role even as INDYCAR has shifted brake suppliers from Brembo to Performance Friction Corporation (PFC) for 2017.

Brembo released a statement on Saturday afternoon. It is linked below:

Brembo recently has become aware of an alleged problem caused by excessive brake operating temperatures.  See “Solution in Works for Indycar Brake Concerns” (Racer Magazine).

For the year 2017, Brembo has not been asked to attend, contribute or participate in Indycar Series brake development (rotors, pads and bells), as Indycar, PFC and the Competitors have elected to assume such responsibility.

We have no way of establishing whether there are any issues with Brembo calipers being used by Indycar Competitors as the most recent, and only, brake test Brembo attended was in Road America in the summer of 2016.  From that test there was no evidence of issues with the use of Brembo calipers with PFC brake components.

Brembo would like to remind you that our calipers are specified products that have been supplied to the Series since 2011, and in accordance to the Rules and our Agreement with Indycar, have not been modified nor has further development been undertaken. Brembo has supplied each Competitor with a Technical Bulletin covering all performance and safety topics of our product (last version attached). Brembo also issued a Technical Bulletin for the Indycar Series (2012, attached) where maximum running temperature of 210°C was specified, in conformity with the signed Supply Contract with Indycar.

We recommend that each Competitor operate Brembo calipers within the defined specifications.  Reliability is not guaranteed outside these specifications and the magnitude of the deviation may result in extremely dangerous conditions.

For everyone’s information, Brembo is able to produce calipers capable of withstanding the highest temperatures achieved in Motorsport Applications, if given clear specifications and operating conditions in which its product will be used. Brembo is always concerned about the proper operation of a brake system in any series in which its components may be used.  In fact, although Brembo was not consulted in connection with the new brake components being used with its calipers, Brembo requested data and feedback after the Elkhart Lake test in order to analyze the results with clear reference to the Brembo Testing Specifications.  Unfortunately, it never received a response.

We further would like to note, the Sebring track is more difficult on brakes as compared to Road America.  This is common knowledge to any brake expert, as well as any racing expert or fan.  However, as Brembo was not asked or able to participate in any phase of  development of the new braking system (in spite of a declared willingness to do so), we are not able to provide any feedback or suggestions on the use of other our components in Indycar’s and its Competitors’ application.

As a result, it is impossible for Brembo to contribute to the good running of the sport, and to exercise any kind of responsibility for any incidents that may occur as a result of the new braking system and its related parts.

We would also caution Indycar and its Competitors, as well as the media, from making any statements which are inconsistent with the content of this Technical Bulletin.  We will consider inconsistent statements as detrimental to our image, and will take appropriate action against such allegations.

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”