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HomeNewsBathurstThe 1963 Falcon system on HRT's Commodores

The 1963 Falcon system on HRT’s Commodores

COMPULSORY brake pad changes have been the norm in the Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama for more than two decades.

They first appeared in V8 Supercars back in 1997 at Bathurst as officials introduced the ruling to stop teams from spending big money on developing complex brake systems.

Larry Perkins’ Bathurst win in 1995 famously came in a Castrol Commodore with in-house brake calipers specially designed to fit super fat Endless brake pads that would not need changing during the event.

Wally Storey, formerly of the Holden Racing Team, but by that point in 1995 working for Wayne Gardner’s Coca-Cola Commodore team, had tried a different pathway during his time working at the factory Holden team – a twin-caliper braking system.

Quietly debuted at the 1992 Sandown 500 on the team’s new VP Commodore, its initial debut didn’t go so well as problems with the system caused Win Percy to crash in practice, clanging into the Armco barrier at turn two.

“When we trotted them out at Sandown, Win shunted because of too much steering shimmy,” Storey said in the V8 Sleuth-produced book ‘Holden Racing Team The Cars 1989-2016 Second Edition’, available here now in the V8 Sleuth Superstore.

“It shook the front of the car that badly he had trouble holding his foot on the brake pedal. Later we started running two different compounds of pads in each caliper and that made them a lot easier to modulate, controlled the temperature better and helped solve the shimmy.”

The team debuted a brand-new VP Commodore at Bathurst that year, Percy and Allan Grice finishing fifth outright and first in the class for the new winged, 1993-spec cars. It finished the race without a brake pad change with the twin-caliper system in place.

“They were trick, and they had the brake master cylinder off a 1963 Falcon when we first ran them!” Storey says.

“I thought a lot about brakes a long time before I went to HRT. When I got there, the TWR blokes had bought 50 of everything, there was always massive wastage, stuff lying around everywhere. There was a drawer full of brake pads, a hundred varieties. Having so much different stuff, we gave different types a go and learnt from there.

“I had started thinking about two calipers in the VN days. I tried a few ways in a VN and had to make a disc adaptor. We went to Bathurst in 1991 with 14.7-inch discs, only just smaller than the Nissans had. It was a big leap.

The #16 Holden at Bathurst in 1992 in pit lane during practice. Photo: an1images.com / Graeme Neander.

“Then the next step was to save changing the pads, and that was the two-caliper system. We tested the twin-calipers at Mallala and the drivers said they were unreal. It was a lot bigger leap and a much bigger thing to do.

“All I did it for initially was to have a high friction pad in the car all day at Bathurst and not change pads. A lot of people had a go at twin-caliper systems, but I had to smile to myself when nobody else could get them to work.”

Storey went on to spend further time post-WGR working in the V8 Supercar paddock with the Lansvale Racing Team, Tasman Motorsport and Brad Jones Racing, working with the late Jason Richards at the latter after earlier working together at Tasman.

He made an appearance at Bathurst in 2021 engineering Luke King’s TCR Audi at the Bathurst 1000 event that also featured ARG’s categories.

He appeared at Bathurst in 2022 working as part of the Matt Chahda Motorsport wildcard team and last year with Blanchard Racing Team’s Super2 entry.

The Chahda family-run team will make a return to this year’s Repco Bathurst 1000 as a wildcard, but will also add the Sandown 500 to its wildcard schedule.

It’s expected they will have the use of a Triple Eight Race Engineering Camaro ZL1, the same chassis driven to victory in last year’s Sandown enduro by Broc Feeney and Jamie Whincup.

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