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Q&A With Braidan Motorsport

Brad Shimbashi Talks Tire Tech And More

BRAD SHIMBASHI, THE OWNER OF BRAIDAN MOTORSPORT, has been a long-time supporter of PCA UCR. Braidan Motorsport has been a Provinz advertiser for many years and it has taken the back page of our monthly magazine since late 2011. Braidan has also been the National Trackside Sponsor of our Can-Am Challenge Club Race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, also known as Mosport, for many years. Braidan will once again be our Trackside Sponsor at this year’s 25th Anniversary Can-Am Challenge Club Race, scheduled to take place from July 31 to Aug. 2.

Braidan was formed in 2006 and started selling tires in 2008. It has two stores with one at Mosport and a tire store at 9399 Markham Road in Markham. Braidan Tire is the first independently owned branded Michelin store in North America. It carries many name-brand tires such as BF Goodrich, Bridgestone, Continental, Dunlop, Falken, Firestone, General, Goodyear, Hankook, Michelin, Pirelli, Toyo, Uniroyal, Yokohama and more. It also provides services such as computer spin balance, laser harmonic and geometric balancing, flat repairs, low-profile tire installations, hand-torqued lug-nut service and nitrogen tire inflation.

Both stores are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment including the Hofmann geoliner 680, Optima 2 and Optima 1 balancers, Hunter Road Force balancer and the Corghi Artiglio Master touchless tire-changer machine. The Corghi Artiglio Master does not use rim clamps and crow bars, so it ensures that the rims are not damaged during the tire-changing process.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the March 21 tech session at Braidan Tire was cancelled. A list of questions was collected from our members who had originally signed up for the tech session. To answer these questions, an interview was conducted with Brad Shimbashi over the phone. Here are the take-aways.

SUMMER PERFORMANCE TIRES

Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tire is a top seller and it is good for those who want to do some light tracking because it has good dry and wet braking. Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 is better for track use, however, it is not good in wet braking.

DRIVER EDUCATION AND CLUB RACING TIRE RECOMMENDATION

For slick tires, consider Michelin and Pirelli. For R-compound, consider Toyo 888R and Nitto NT01. Toyo eliminated its 40-percent-off rebate from its racing program more than a year ago, so consider Nitto tires. Toyo Tire Holdings Of Americas Incorporated is the parent company of both Toyo Tire USA Corporation and Nitto Tire USA Incorporated.

TIRE PRESSURE

The most reliable source of tire pressure is the information placard located in a Porsche’s door jamb. The tire pressure on the information placard is different from the driver’s manual because the latter is generic and covers all trims and ranges in a model line. The Longacre tire pressure gauge is a good-quality air-pressure gauge and it is available at Braidan Tire.

NITROGEN-INFLATED TIRES

Nitrogen eliminates moisture inside the tire. Air is 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen and one percent water vapor and other gases. Oxygen can retain moisture inside the tire. Nitrogen is a dry gas, 

so the moisture is eliminated. Tires filled with nitrogen can retain optimal pressure three to four times longer. Therefore, optimal tire pressure is achieved in the tires at all times resulting in enhanced handling, improved fuel efficiency, increased safety and extended tire life. Due to decreased oxidation, which occurs when oxygen reacts at high temperatures and pressures, tires do not wear as fast. Nitrogen tire-inflation service is available at Braidan Tire.

TIRE BALANCING AND ALIGNMENT

It is a good idea to get alignment and tire balancing done every time when a tire set is new. Tire balancing should be done every season when tires are changed.

CAST, FLOW FORM OR FORGED WHEELS

Casting and forging are two predominant types of processes used to manufacturer wheels. Under casting, aluminum is poured in molten form inside a mold to form a wheel and most factory wheels are cast wheels. Forged wheels are the ultimate in one-piece wheels and they are lighter and stronger compared to a cast wheel of the same width and diameter. Both cast and forged wheels are available at Braidan Tire. A flow-formed wheel is the in-between of forged and cast. Flow-formed creates a lighter wheel than cast but also a stronger barrel.

OTHER TECH TIDBITS

• four-season tire recommendation for a 993 is Michelin A/S 3. Pirelli also has a good four-season tires selection for a 993

• tire-size availability for a 1966 912: front 205/50 R17, rear 255/40 R17

• best wheel size for a Boxster or a Cayman on track: 18 inches

• brake fluid should be changed every year if a Porsche is tracked, otherwise follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for the particular model

• brake pads for light track use are PAGID RSL 29 because they provide good brake and disc life.

• using a battery tender that is attached directly to the battery terminals is safer than using a trickle charger through a cigarette lighter

• for winter storage of tires, increase the tire pressure by five PSI and put styrofoam under the tires such that the tires sink into and are cradled by the styrofoam

• for using tires in the winter, air is a gas and so it expands in the heat, contracts in the cold. As the temperature drops, the molecules in the air move slower and get closer together, leading to lower tire pressure. The rule of thumb is a tire may lose or gain one to two pounds per square inch (PSI) for every six degrees Celsius of air-temperature change. Underinflated tires can increase braking time

• the life of a tire is generally indicated by tire manufacturers as being 10 years, however, a tire’s life can be reduced due to factors such as heat, storage and conditions of use. So, it is best to monitor the wear and tear over the years. Consult a mechanic if unsure. </>

Photos by Frank Tsang and George Wong

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