All good thoughts here...one of the better exchanges of information and opinions that I've seen on an automotive forum; plus, having people willing to help each other is great. SSSoon and I had a good conversation yesterday and at his suggestion, I decided to log in here and "read up".
Having been in this industry for quite some time, I absolutely HATE HATE HATE it when I hear from new customers that someone from another brake pad manufacturer told them "you bedded the pads incorrectly". While there _is_ such as thing as being too aggressive during bedding, it's actually quite difficult to do. In perhaps 95% of the cases, using this "improper bedding" soundtrack is just a cop-out. I'll blame the customer if I see machining marks on a pad which indicate they took power tools to it, or caliper/pad/other brake component modifications someone decided to do to "make something fit"...but this isn't what we're talking about here. Unless someone admits that they taped off their ducts, used the left foot to drag the brake pads while under full acceleration down the straights, never lifting the left foot off the brakes...for multiple laps...it's probably not a bedding issue.
On the Camaro SS (see drawings below), Pete @ Pedders is correct in that the XR1/FRONT + XR3/REAR setup works well, and if you have a lot of rear rubber, beyond the OE F/R ratio, then XR2/REAR will utilize this in conjunction with adequate suspension modifications (i.e. anti-lift geometry, rebound adjustments, etc.). For SSSoon, we were working from "where he is now", and based on prior track experience and the compounds he has used to date (OE/Brembo and Hawk DTC-30), I felt that a better progression would be a less aggressive XR2/XR4 setup. With more track experience, there is no doubt that he will eventually progress to an XR1/XR3 setup, but at this point, just as with any vehicle performance modification, I prefer to be "conservatively calculated".
I used to participate in HPDE events (many moons ago) with different vehicles, and from my own experience, it made more sense to learn how to carry speed through turns...balance the right foot with the hands, if you will...rather than brake at nosebleed rates of deceleration in a straight line. The former requires deliberate, conscious efforts at perfecting one's racecraft...the latter a monkey can do without much trouble. Effective braking is definitely part of that racecraft. Understanding rates of weight transfer, how the tire profile changes under compression, how the suspension geometry responds, etc...this all helps us utilize the brakes more effectively. Generally speaking, and we have this conversation with pro-drivers all the time (even in Indy Lights), a "fast squeeze" onto the brake pedal will work better than a "jump on it as fast as possible from the throttle", as it allows a split second for inherent weight transfer to occur and effectively "pre-loads" the front suspension and tires to optimally accept/receive the impending brake torque. Sure, if you jump on the brake pedal, it feels great, but you are creating very rapid heat spikes on the tires (as well as numerous other issues), and over the course of a race distance, that tire won't turn or brake as well for you near the end if you treat it like shit at every brake zone. Left foot braking is a different beast, but I don't think most people here are left-foot brakers, as I haven't seen mention of a sequential or dogbox installed. Re: ABS...it's best not to drive the car with the thought that it will "fix" your braking. It's a safety measure...drive the car (i.e. use the brakes) as if it didn't have ABS, and you will learn to brake more effectively. If you disable your ABS and you find yourself flatspotting tires (I don't recommend this on-track for most...safety issues...but on a controlled straight perhaps...), you're pressing too hard or too fast on the brake pedal; this is an over simplification, but you understand the point.
I appreciate the apparent enthusiasm and support for our products on this forum and hope it continues going forward. If you have any questions, since this forum post will probably be a "one time deal" due to time...please feel free to send e-mail to email@example.com
Be good, be safe, have fun at the track...
Andie W. Lin
Director, Motorsports R&D
Cobalt Friction Technologies