If you have a keen eye you may have noticed that the MINI JCW Team has been running Cooper S brakes on their cars. The reason for this is because IMSA, the governing body of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, did not approve the team to use the stock Brembo brakes that come on the JCWs. While we can’t confirm this, we believe this was a Balance Of Performance decision. Made to keep the MINIs from having to much of a braking advantage.
While the team has performed admirably with the Cooper S brakes, culminating in a podium finish in the rainy 2015 finale at Road Atlanta, it was still disappointing not being able to take advantage of the same part fans get to use everyday.
The other downside of the smaller breaks was seen in the last race at Sebring International Raceway. The improved performance of the MINI JCW Team this season has put added stress on the breaks. This lead to a scary incident involving Mark Pombo in the #37 during the last lap of the race (see: Pombo’s Scary Crash Is Too Familar). This incident, probably in addition to a request by the team, has lead IMSA to re-evaluate and approve the JCW brakes. Hopefully this change will keep drivers safer and be the catalyst that leads the team to their first victory.