I'm planning my first track event, and trying to decide what to do with my brake setup. Looking for some input from folks who have run Mk4's at Summit Point Main and VIR (primarily) as those are my two target tracks.
I've read through the FAQs and am familiar with the overall approach - this is my first time, stay as close to stock as possible, etc. But I also want to make sure I've got plenty of brakes to be able to enjoy the event, avoid surprises, etc. In other words, I'm more interested in durability and brake feel than absolute performance. The 24v GLI is also the porkiest of the non-R Mk4s as well.
Based on past experience, I'm going with Ferodo DS2500s and will run them on the street too for now. They were amazing on my old Mk3 VR6. Trying to determine if the stock F&R rotor sizes are sufficient for a novice at these tracks, or if I should go ahead and plan to upgrade at least the fronts to the GLI/20th/TT setup. Will also do lines and a good track-worthy fluid. The rotors and pads need to be replaced either way.
Rest of the car is mostly stock, with mild suspension mods (H&R OE Sport/Koni Yellows) and Michelin Supersports.
For a first-time student, OE brakes are sufficient provided you've completed all your prep (as you've noted). You'd be wise to bring another set of pads and your brake-bleeding kit with you though.
I've seen students wear thru a set of new "street" pads in a 2-day event (1-day if the car is exceptionally heavy and the pads are soft). Beyond that, first-time students tend to be harder on brakes because they brake earlier and longer which tends to transmit a greater thermal load into calipers than a more experienced driver.
Don't fall for the old sales pitch of "slotted/drilled rotors rock" - they're nice looking and in very extreme conditions, they work great but for your application, save the money and buy a good set of OE-style rotors.
If you want better feel, by all means, do a set of SS lines. Given your car and your (appropriate) description of said car, getting ANY feel out of these cars takes a fair amount of effort since they're rather boat-like in OE trim.
DS2500's used to be talked about in the Brake forum as great for these cars. If you are an HDPE beginner, they should be OK. You mentioned you had them on a MkIII. Was that for street only?
I had a set of DS2500's on my car (that I got used with a set of rotors from another local track guy who had sold his car). I ran them for a few events in the Advanced level, but while they looked like they had a lot of material left on them, they actually started to de-laminate, turn into sponges and had large chunks missing from them. Don't be scared by this, though. Run them if you have them. If you find you enjoy track events, you can upgrade later. I now run Hawk Blues now. I like to recommend Hawk HP+ for street and track use for beginners, though.
Edit: another thing - don't run out and buy another set of pads now. Just bring along whatever you had in there before the DS2500's (if you didn't throw them out). You can always use them to get you home again if you were, however unlikely, to ruin the 2500's.
Yes, I had the 2500's on the street. What I liked was that for an intermediate pad, the only drawback was they were a bit dirty. Never made noise, always bit well when cold, even in winter, etc. So it definitely seemed like a double duty pad I could live with. From the limited experiences I have with HP+ pads, they are a bit noisy on the street for me. If I got into it, I agree the Blues seem very popular but are track-only.
The stock stuff I have on there now isn't totally shot, so I can bring it as emergency spares. For now I think I may skip the lines as well.
Anyone want to weigh in on VIR as a first time track? I really should have signed up for the Audi event at Summit 2 weeks ago.
VIR was the first track I drove on. It's a first class place. I'll second TrackDaze as a first rate group. It's run by vortexers (although they don't post much anymore) and had huge VW support at the beginning.
Also check out Washington DC Region of SCCA. They have PDX events at Summit Point (both Main and Shenandoah) scheduled throughout the year.
VIR will, unfortunately spoil you, making the other "local" tracks seem a bit shabby.
VIR is a great track, especially the Full Course. The climbing esses are some of my favorites, flat-footed with a little "hop" on the way up. The back straight is phenomenal although it does to on forever if you drive a gutless wonder (which I sadly drive).