With the 2019 racing season now upon us, former BTRA Champion Stuart Oliver explains why he has relied on Synergy braking for the last 10 years.
Truck racing is carried out in extreme operating conditions, with a race truck weighing over 5,500kg, travelling at speeds of up to 100mph. This means that brake components have to be effective and reliable in order achieve race success. The performance and grip of Synergy enables me to brake later than others, thus giving me an advantage when approaching the corners. Although this aggressive braking causes the brakes to get extremely hot, they have never failed me. Given that these products perform so well on the race track, it makes perfect operational sense to also use them within our own fleet of heavy goods vehicles.
Brakes are put under immense pressure on a race truck, which means it is not uncommon to see a brake disc temperature fluctuate from 80°C up to 750°C and back down to 80°C within one race lap.
These extreme conditions just go to show that performance is of course the most important aspect. It is crucial when trying to achieve success, that the friction material used when racing gives a constant and reliable feel when pressing the pedal and a constant performance at all four corners of the truck. If you start to experience fade at any time, then the confidence to enter the corner at maximum speed disappears. Synergy brakes have never let me down, so I know that I can rely on them.
When you consider braking in a racing environment as opposed to haulage, the main difference is concern over durability. It is simply not as important for a race team, since most replace their brake pads after each race. This being said, Synergy brakes can last me a whole weekend, which is usually five races, even though they reach temperatures in excess of 750°C. In fact, last season the water jets that spray a fine mist to the underside of the brake discs to aid cooling failed. The telematics recorded temperatures of over 1,200°C. I could sense the drop in performance due to the heat, but
the pads were able to cope with even this temperature. I am sure that if I had used any other friction material fitted they would have disintegrated, but the Synergy ones remained intact and I was even able to finish the race in third place. Not bad going!