There it is: my first (and likely only) factory ordered Porsche 911, with beautiful GT Silver metallic paint and factory red calipers-more or less just as I always dreamed it would be. More than 25 years ago I decided that purchasing a Porsche 911 built at the factory to my precise specifications was something that I absolutely had to do during my lifetime. What I didn't know until recently was that my path through life would lead to Porsche's new and improved, and already infamous, 2010 GT3. Thanks for starting me in the right direction, Dad!
I noted in Part 1 of this series that I opted to go with the standard equipment cast iron brake setup for a couple of reasons. First, my past experience in 911s equipped with Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB) was not favorable in the pedal-feel department under hard-driving track conditions. Second, since this car would see some serious track time, the cost of consumables was definitely something to consider. Also, the "Big Reds" (terminology dating back to the standard brakes on the 993 Twin Turbo), made in Italy by a very well known brake manufacturer, had a certain purist and aesthetic appeal for modern Porsche models that I hadn't even considered messing with; putting them on my list of modifications was subliminally taboo. So my plan was to leave the Big Reds and new, updated two-piece rotors in place, and only upgrade the brake pads and fluid to aftermarket products with better track capability.
However, near the beginning of my project research and planning, Editor Bidrawn suggested that I contact the guys at Global Motorsports Group for some extra hardcore ideas. A long discussion with GMG co-owner Fabryce Kutyba yielded some superb suggestions, a few of which turned into plans for the suspension and safety areas (which you'll read about in future articles). But I found it intriguing when he also strongly recommended that I contact StopTech about its newly released Trophy Big Brake Kit lightweight brake upgrade for the 2010 GT3 (and 2007/8 GT3), as he believed it was an absolute must-have for track enthusiasts. Upgrade already-excellent brakes, really? Why?
When I read the full specifications for the Stoptech kit, my cherished Big Reds became a distant memory. StopTech's competition-level kit comes with lightweight STR-60 (six-piston) and STR-40 (four-piston) calipers. They feature the same basic metallurgy and design as the standard line of StopTech calipers with a removable stiffening bridge, but are engineered to provide a 17 percent reduction in weight without sacrificing stiffness or performance. Each caliper is forged aluminum, deftly machined for maximum weight savings, and comes with a hard anodized finish; there's no paint present to insulate "track-hot" calipers. Especially important to those of us who enjoy looking at our cars as well as driving them, the STR caliper finish contains no dyes or pigments, so it cannot fade or change color even after extended time spent at racing temperatures. In addition, all StopTech calipers are 100 percent leakdown and pressure tested to 2,500 psi at the factory. StopTech Trophy Sport Big Brake Kits for street driven vehicles include dust boots and anti-rattle rotor mounting hardware, as well as StopTech Street Performance brake pads. Trophy Big Brake Kits for racing, or for cars used nearly exclusively on the track, have no dust boots and allow full axial rotor float to prevent the pads being pushed away from the rotors due to hub flex under high cornering loads. All StopTech Big Brake Kits include caliper mounting brackets and hardware, and DOT-compliant flexible stainless steel brake lines. A very nice package to say the least.