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I'm attending the complimentary HPDE event in a few weeks (hopefully the first of many track days for me), and have been doing research on how I should prepare. I've read conflicting reports, with some comments telling me I'll be fine with stock brake pads and others saying I will have brake fade by the 3rd lap. I wanted to ask anyone here who's already been to this event or tracks their car about what they think of the necessity of brake pad upgrades right away. I'm planning on having the brake fluid upgraded regardless since that's cheap. I was also thinking, if I do decide brake pad upgrades are necessary, to go with the DS2500s since I'm probably not going to be tracking often to start (I'm also confused by my research with these. Depending on what review/thread I click on, these are either as loud as police sirens or whisper quiet). Appreciate any advice.
 

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I would buy some pads. DS2500s are compromised on the street and the track, better in my opinion to buy track pads and swap back and forth. Swapping pads is easy.

I personally am on Castrol SRF and I run DS1.11 pads on track. A few hundred bucks in pads to avoid putting it in a wall, collecting another car, or a fire/failure of stock pads seems easily worth it.
 

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I did my track day with stock pads and Dot 4 fluid. Had no issues. Plenty of pad left. The track I went to is known for being hard on brakes. Don't go 100% in every braking zone and you'll be fine. I'm not saying go easy, just maybe don't threshold brake every corner.
 

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'23 BRZ Limited - 6MT - SBP
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If it's your first track day, I'd ask those who have been at that track. I have over 100 track days under my belt so I wouldn't go with stock pads because I know I like to brake late and will likely carry more speed than a starter. For less than 300 dollars you can have pads and fluid which is cheap insurance. What brand you use is up to you but a pad like the 2500 or HP+ will be a compromise. They will squeak and be dusty on the street. If you REALLY push them, you can get them to fade on track. But I don't think you will be there. I'll be going to an HPDE event next month in my BRZ and am.running HP+ pads and Motul RBF660. I know the track well and the limits of those pads so I know I will be good with them. As I get more comfortable in the car and upgrade tires, suspension, etc I know I'll need to go to dedicated track brakes.
 

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2023 Toyota GR86 6mt, Trueno Blue
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I just did a track day on relatively cold day. Air temp maxed at 52 F. 1700 miles on a 2023 GR86 Premium. Stock everything. I've been driving this track for 10 years both Hpde & racing.

I did 4 20 minute sessions before getting tired (not enough sleep the night before). I had brake fade towards the end of the 4th session but not dangerously so.

Track has 5 braking zones including 3 high speed to low speed transitions. Turning off the nannies (hold the traction button for 10 seconds) improved brake wear a bit.

I didnt engage abs at all, usually opting to carry more speed rather than over slowing.

If you have never driven on a track, the chances of destroying your brake pads your first time out aren't nil but they are low. Driving track pads on the street (hp+ or similar) is a good way to wear your rotors out. HP+ needs minimum 400-600 F before they start to work efficiently. Below that, it's akin to putting an angle grinder on your rotors. The squealing noise is because the pads aren't hot enough ( if they are at working temp, your car will stop like it ran into a wall)

If your oil or brake fluid is not light colored (relatively clean/fresh), change it.

Unless you're running a track where you hit 120 several times a lap and slow to 60 or less each time you brake, "upgrading" to track specific gear isn't cost effective.

When you get hooked and you're burning up rotors, pads, tires every 3-4 track days, investment in higher quality is probably worth it.

The "hoonigan" feeling of flogging your car on track never gets old, unless you have to pay for your consumables and it becomes a choice between ramen and track time. :)

I knocked 25 seconds off my first lap and last lap in an 80 minutes of track time. Tire wear was optimal. Oil consumption was nil. Brake fluid was fine. Brake pads recovered after an easy drive home.

When I do my nasa free day, I'll put on a set of sport pads. Currently planning on visiting a track back east, and doing some of the epic driving roads on the way home.

Caveat: I learned track driving in a heavy slow car, so less braking was important. The GR86 has been like driving my Spec Miata racecar excepr much more comfortable and more power.
 
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