When people think of brakes, they typically focus on their role in slowing a car down to a stop, but when it comes to performance driving, their main task is to make you faster. Yep, great brakes can knock heapin' chunks off your lap times if you decide to hit the autocross or road course. By having a brake system capable of quickly bleeding off speed repeatedly, a driver can drive deeper into a corner before having to hammer the binders. This ability to carry speed longer adds up over the course of a lap, and can turn an average car into track star.
There also needs to be a discussion about what makes a particular braking system great, which includes more than just their ability to stop a car on a dime. Also important when choosing a performance set of brakes, is to look at their ability to take the punishment inherent to being abused repeatedly over a short period of time. When they can't take the heat, they vacate the kitchen in a little dance we call fade. This is when either the pads exceed the temperature to provide adequate friction, or when heat is transferred into the brake fluid to the point where it boils. Neither of these things will happen when you're cruising around town, but when you hit the track, it's a whole other ballgame.
Baer has been building brakes for a long time now, and of their most popular brake packages has been their Track System. Consisting of a two-piston aluminum caliper and one-piece 13-inch rotor, it's leaps and bounds better than the stock stuff, but it does have limitations. One of these is related to the stiffness of the caliper. They were developed for the street, and under hard braking the bodies can flex, causing a loss of performance. They also feature aluminum pistons. The problem with aluminum is that it's a far better conductor of heat than the stainless steel found in most modern high-performance calipers. This is a bad thing since the last place you want brake heat transmitted is into your fluid. Baer saw these limitations and decided to develop a line of calipers with the performance driver in mind. Their new line of 6P calipers are extremely stiff, feature stainless pistons, and are more than capable of handing trips around any track while maintaining their streetability. Best of all, at $495 per caliper, they won't put you in permanent debt.
So, Baer has a sexy new caliper and scores of customers with Track Systems already on their rides. With this in mind, they developed a kit that would let Track System owners upgrade their rides without buying a whole new brake package. One such longtime Baer customer is autocross maven Mary Pozzi. She's been rockin' a Track System on her '73 Camaro for years now, and knows their good, bad, and ugly sides. With a pair of 6P calipers in hand, we went over to Pozzi Racing to see if we could make her Camaro faster by slowing it down quicker.