Originally Posted by VictorH
Well, at Road Atlanta you generate a lot of heat in the back straight slowing down for the 10a-10b complex (walk to that location and watch how red/orange peoples brakes get there) and then again on the front straight entering turn 1. For me after a good 3-4 laps with no traffic I get notable fade slowing for both turn 5 and turn 6 even though both of these especially turn 6 are reasonably fast corners.
This reminded me of being at the Walter Mitty Challenge in 1981 at the driver's meeting where Brian Redman was leading the meeting. His comment way back then was something to the effect of "if your brakes feel the least bit weak going into 6, be careful for the end of the back straight because they probably won't be there for you." Of course back then the back straight was crazier than today also as the plunge down the "elevator shaft" (as we called it) has been filled in and they rerouted the approach to the bridge with the chicane. Way back then you used the huge uphill into the bridge for a good portion of your braking, and of course the bridge was actually a turn with the apex sitting right underneath it coupled with an awesome track out on the other side.
Someday I'll get back to RA and drive the new layout (well, new as in 15+ years old now I guess).
Brian was a stickler back then in that driver's meeting about brakes as one would expect given the year and state of brake design at that point. He suggested becoming familiar with how your car felt when doing a quick tap of the brakes in the middle of the back straight, and suggested everyone pay close attention.
Unfortunately, a guy in a ~1974 Capri lost his brakes going at the end of the back straight that year, careened over the hill and end-over-end tumbled down toward the pit entry (there was only one pit, the one on the outside of the track back then). He had to be airlifted out.
Which brings up more of the story as the Mitty organizers decided to "slow down" the back straight by putting a cone chicane you had to negotiate on the section just prior to the downhill plunge. I was in the very first session out with that "addition", and on the 2nd lap, a 911 about 4 cars in front of me lost it in that cone chicane and slammed head first into the Armco on the right side of the track, totaling the car (driver ok). Needless to say the cones were promptly removed.
Sorry for the aside guys, it's too easy to tell stories when your aged.