TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC

My Model 3 at the Mid-Ohio Race Track

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by rtanov, May 12, 2018.

  1. rtanov

    rtanov Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2018
    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    My Model 3 got to enjoy the Mid-Ohio track this Friday, I got to watch from the side. My son had a track event and was willing to give the Model 3 a try. He managed to do 3 laps (more like 2 laps) as the brakes did overheat almost immediately and were toast pretty quick. He felt the car behaved very well, was controllable and neutral, and if had had some good brakes it would have made it much better. The car is stock with the 18” wheels but Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires (much better than the stock ones) at 35 psi for this run. We flushed the brake system with Castrol SRF racing fluid but that did not seem to help a lot – it looks like we really need good race compound brake pads to be able to take this car to the track.

    Here is the video from the car:

    … and the video from the chase car (Aaron is a track friend of Rudy, who was eager to see how the Model 3 would do):

    … and here is the car dash cam video (sorry it has no audio):

    The good lap he managed to do he clocked at 1:54, which he wasn’t quite happy with, he thinks the car can do better with good brakes. BTW this is his best time at that track so far in his heavily modified M3 (the real M3 J) (1:40):
     
    • Like x 10
    • Informative x 2
    • Love x 1
  2. MDR SEA

    MDR SEA 2015 Model S 85D, 2016 Model X 90D

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2016
    Messages:
    187
    Location:
    Pac NW
    I guess the regen just wasn't enough for the track...
     
  3. Daniel in SD

    Daniel in SD Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2018
    Messages:
    2,226
    Location:
    San Diego
    • Informative x 2
    • Like x 1
    • Funny x 1
    • Love x 1
  4. rtanov

    rtanov Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2018
    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    • Informative x 1
  5. xav-

    xav- Active Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2016
    Messages:
    1,187
    Location:
    Orange County CA
    Tesla really screwed up on those brakes. Bad breaking numbers, useless on the track, cost a fortune to replace.

    This may be placebo effect but I don’t trust those brakes when I drive my model 3. I had a model s as a loaner 2 weeks ago and the brakes felt so much better.
     
    • Disagree x 1
  6. xav-

    xav- Active Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2016
    Messages:
    1,187
    Location:
    Orange County CA
    Thanks this is informative. I was kind of hoping that the gap would be narrower with the M3! :(

    I guess 0 to 60 times aren’t everything when you do 0 to 120.
     
  7. rtanov

    rtanov Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2018
    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
     
  8. mongo

    mongo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2017
    Messages:
    8,453
    Location:
    Michigan
    • Informative x 1
    • Like x 1
  9. jaguar36

    jaguar36 Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2014
    Messages:
    1,916
    Location:
    NJ
    The Model 3 is not meant for track usage. Why would Tesla ever consider that a use case for the base car? I'm sure glad they didn't waste money on putting track sized brakes on the base car. And who cares about the replacement cost? Brake pads with normal usage will basically last the life of the car on a Tesla.
     
    • Like x 4
  10. shrspeedblade

    shrspeedblade Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2015
    Messages:
    950
    Location:
    CA, United States
    Think of what the Model 3 brakes are engineered to do for a second.

    Probably 90% of the braking of the car during normal use is regen (if you don't drive like an idiot) so the stock pads need to have good bite when cold. Almost. Every. Single. Time. It's the exact opposite of a racing pad that are designed to operate in a much higher temperature range.

    I'm a track rat, but anybody with any experience will know that Tesla made the right engineering decision when it comes to brake pads on this car. You don't design for the 1% you do it for the 99% and I'm getting a little tired of the bitching from the ill-informed that the brakes are somehow dangerous or poor. No they are not.

    Do you want soccer Moms running into cars that pull out in front of them because the brakes pads aren't warmed up enough? How are the vast majority of Model 3s going to be used?

    You clearly need to swap pads with this car before heading to the track. People need to stop blaming Tesla for their questionable decisions.
     
    • Like x 11
    • Informative x 3
  11. xav-

    xav- Active Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2016
    Messages:
    1,187
    Location:
    Orange County CA
    I forgot the exact figures but a 2017 Altima gets better braking distances than a Model 3. It’s just doesn’t look good.

    I personally don’t track my car but I am pretty sure any car that is comparable to a model 3 can do more than 4 laps on a track.. the “not meant for the track” is not a very good excuse IMO
     
  12. Daniel in SD

    Daniel in SD Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2018
    Messages:
    2,226
    Location:
    San Diego
    Braking distance is entirely due to the low rolling resistance tires. Put some summer tires on it and the stopping distance would be way shorter.
    In terms of track braking performance I'm sure it's much worse than a BMW 340i though the BMW would probably still cook its brakes pretty quickly too. Hopefully they'll fix it with performance version. The BMW M3 is available with carbon ceramic brakes.
     
    • Like x 1
    • Disagree x 1
  13. rtanov

    rtanov Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2018
    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    It actually makes a lot of sense to me - what Tesla did. Compared to an ICE car the Tesla (and the other EVs) has the advantage of the regenerative braking. This means that the brakes will be used much less and would have to work at lower temperatures. Therefore the pad compound can be made to last longer sacrificing on its heat performance. I don't think the car under normal and even occasional panic braking performs worse thank any other street car of that class. These are said to be Brembo brakes so I would assume they put thought and engineering into making them. They also seem similar in design to other high end street cars, some with good race characteristics. They could have just used same compound as one of those cars - the Model 3 would then have behaved much better at the track and still be adequate on the street. However, they decided to optimize for street driving which is 99% of all that car will see. I don't have a problem with that - the problem right now is that there are no race pads available - otherwise I would not have taken the car to the track with these pads - that's why I put the better Pilot Sports 4S tires - I did not like the traction of the stock 18". Especially after Matt Crowley's experience at Laguna Seca.
     
    • Like x 1
    • Love x 1
  14. xav-

    xav- Active Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2016
    Messages:
    1,187
    Location:
    Orange County CA
    I perfectly acknowledge that I am not knowledgeable on brakes. Thanks for the information.

    At the end of the day the braking numbers compared to other cars are just not that good.. that was my concern. I would argue that this is not an issue that impacts “the 1 percent”

    I would be curious to compare my car with the sports wheels against a base new Accord or Altima.
     
  15. Daniel in SD

    Daniel in SD Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2018
    Messages:
    2,226
    Location:
    San Diego
    If you're concerned about braking distance you need to get "summer" tires (which you can run year round in SoCal!). Looks to me like the Model 3 has the same braking distance as a Nissan Altima (119 feet for the Model 3, 121 feet for the Altima). They both come with all season tires (AKA no season tires). Put a set of Michelin Pilot Sport 4S on your car and you will be much happier with the braking distance.
     
    • Informative x 1
    • Like x 1
  16. shrspeedblade

    shrspeedblade Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2015
    Messages:
    950
    Location:
    CA, United States
    What he so aptly said....

    and I'd like to add many of the high performance cars coming out now days have gumball tires (cough *GM and Porsche* cough) :pthat produce superb stopping distances. They have great brakes which resist fade on the track too, but the stellar braking test numbers have more to do with the tires as Daniel already mentioned.

    Except for the overall weight, the Model 3 has the inherent characteristics for good braking: over half of its weight on the rear tires like a mid-engined car and a superbly low center of gravity with the tires pushed out to the corners of the chassis. This limits weight transfer so all 4 tires are more involved in the braking (one reason a Porsche 911 brakes so good). However, with LRR all season tires you aren't going to post up any numbers to right home about.
     
    • Like x 1
  17. Big Earl

    Big Earl Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2017
    Messages:
    2,072
    Location:
    Springfield, VA
    • Helpful x 1
    • Informative x 1
  18. woof

    woof Fluffy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,409
    I took my Model 3 to an advanced driving class, where we did lots of "foot through the floor" braking, simulating emergency stops and lane changes. The Model 3 performed flawlessly. The brakes had a lovely burning smell, but no fade over the entire day. I've no doubt they will perform on the street, if and when I need them.
     
    • Like x 2
    • Informative x 1

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.
  • Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


    SUPPORT TMC