The 6 Hours of Mexico saw the latest chapters in an apparently ongoing issue with Brembo carbon brakes, specifically on the ORECA 05 and Rebellion chassis throughout the 2016 season in the FIA WEC.
To this point DSC is aware of at least seven brake system and/ or component failures this season amongst four different teams, including, astonishingly, no fewer than four for Manor plus G-Drive, Rebellion and, we understand, Signatech Alpine at the Le Mans 24 Hours too.
Two of those occurred in Mexico with Manor pulling their #44 car into the pits when the braking system started to exhibit the same characteristics of the previous round’s disc failure and the #26 G-Drive ORECA suffering a fiery and comprehensive disc failure.
Manor had already withdrawn their #45 Oreca 05 from the 6 Hours of Mexico after suffering repeated braking issues in earlier races, the team working to understand the problems and, understandably, unprepared to risk further damage.
The incidents thus far have resulted variously in cars suffering race retirement and substantial delay and, rather more worryingly, at least two significant accidents causing damage in significant sums.
Senior team engineering source spoken to by DSC confirmed that all components were installed, and were operating within their design parameters. Clear views were also expressed on the potential, and indeed the actual, risks attached to the failures.
The Brembo carbon fibre brakes are standard on the Oreca 05 LMP2 cars and on its Rebellion R-One cousin with team sources relaying that ORECA have now undertaken to bring forward a solution to prevent a recurrence of the issues.
Brembo confirmed to DSC that they are currently working closely with ORECA to investigate the issues:
“Following the sudden excessive wear episodes, Brembo and ORECA have launched a deep technical investigation to analyze the root cause of the problem.
“The detailed joint analysis is still ongoing, but currently there is no clear evidence of the cause. We are thus taking into account the multiple factors which may have contributed to the problem.
“As soon as the joint investigation will be finalized, we will be in a position to offer a detailed explanation.”
Brembo have also confirmed that, depending on the outcome of the joint technical investigation, “Brembo and ORECA will agree and implement all needed improvements.” and that Brembo’s technical representatives will be present in Austin to liaise with the teams there.