Presented by Centric Parts and its StopTech performance and racing division

May 31, 2011

Lime Rock Park Yields Fifth Consecutive Podium to Turner Motorsport on StopTech Brakes

Bill Auberlen and Paul Dalla Lana scored their fifth consecutive podium since switching to StopTech GT Racing calipers on the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M3 this weekend with a second place finish at Lime Rock Park. The five-for-five performance at Round 5 of the Continental Tire 2011 Grand-Am Sports Car Challenge season puts the driving duo at the top of the GS series with 161 points for a comfy 27 point lead overall.

The tough race included three cautions that ate up 11 laps plus, two late restarts, which left Turner Motorsport just 0.82 seconds short of repeating the first place finish they scored earlier in the season n Miami. However, the podium visit extended their overall lead in the series by another six points.

"It's not totally worth the risk I would have taken," said Auberlen of his opportunities to have charged for the lead during the fractured race. "We're just looking for the long haul. It's all about the championship right now."

Turner Motorsport adopted the new StopTech GT Racing caliper for the GS class at the top of the 2011 season. Loaded with engineering optimized for endurance racing it has proven itself in the tough environment of 200+ mile races, despite the rough braking demands. The race this weekend was held at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn with its tight 1.53-mile, seven-turn track that makes it half the size of the last round's stop at Virginia International Raceway. The next stop will be at Watkins Glen later this week from June 2-3.

The StopTech GT Racing caliper pulls features from both the original StopTech ST series calipers and the company's top-of-the-line Trophy STR racing calipers. It features StopTech's patented bolt-in bridge technology which reinforces the caliper, virtually eliminates distortion, provides slots to enhance cooling airflow, and allows changing brake pads without disturbing the caliper’s mounting. The calipers are machined from billet and sport a natural anodized finish that is impervious to color change at the continuous high temperatures experienced during race conditions.

StopTech, the ultra-performance division of Centric Parts, is a leading innovator of world-class brake components and systems for production-based racing cars and high performance vehicles on the street and track. StopTech was the first to offer balanced brake upgrades for production cars and remains the worldwide leader with more than 700 platform offerings to dramatically improve overall braking performance. StopTech GT series racing calipers are available now through motorsports distributors and performance automotive aftermarket retailers. Visit for more information.

May 23, 2011

Crosland Wins as Sofronas Holds Series Lead

18-year-old Ben Crosland earned his first Pirelli World Challenge win while James Sofronas literally ran out of gas while holding onto the series lead this weekend at the Pirelli Grand Prix of Mosport Victoria Day Speedfest.

Crosland scored his GTS class victory in StopTech-equipped No. 25 Ford Mustang FR500S during the first race of the two-race weekend on Saturday. It was his eighth career start after two previous podium finishes. He returned to the podium again on Sunday with a second place finish in that race.

On Saturday Crosland started second in the GTS class and fell to fourth early in the race behind Paul Brown, Eric Foss and Alec Udell. Crosland and Udell moved past Foss on lap five, which became a battle for the lead on lap six when Brown’s motor let go and forced him out of the lead. Crosland and the 15-year-old Udell ran nose-to-tail for a handful of laps until Crosland pressured into the lead and an eventual 0.873-second victory on the 10-turn, 2.459 mile course.

GT Championship leader Sofronas finished fourth on Saturday in the StopTech-equipped No. 14 GMG Porsche 911 GT3, improving from his sixth starting position. Sofronas earned the Optima Batteries Best Standing Start Award for his performance on the opening lap.

On Sunday, Sofronas found himself sitting in fourth when the circuit went to a full course caution. While circulating behind the pace car, the Porsche ran out of fuel before the checkered flag on the final lap, and the slowed car crossed the finish line in seventh position. It was enough to hold on the Drivers Championship lead, with Sofronas now leading by just eight points with 626. 

Both rounds of this weekend's race will air on Versus on Saturday, June 18 at 3:00 p.m. EDT. The Pirelli World Challenge now enters a “summer break” and returns to action with a doubleheader at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, August 5-7.

May 20, 2011

StopTech Intros Chevy TrailBlazer SS Big Brake Kits (2007-2009)

StopTech,  the ultra-performance division of Centric Parts, has introduced a front Big Brake Kit for the 2007-2009 Chevy TrailBlazer SS.  StopTech Big Brake Kits provide shorter stopping distances, better brake modulation, firmer pedal feel and less brake fade resulting in stronger, more reliable performance on and off the track.

The front StopTech Big Brake Kits for the 2007-2009 Chevy Trailblazer SS comes with a pair of 380X32 slotted or drilled floating directional AeroRotors featuring billet aluminum mounting brackets with stainless steel studs, DOT-compliant stainless steel braided Teflon brake lines, StopTech's highly-praised high performance street pads plus the company's patented, forged, high performance, six-piston ST-60 calipers.

The TrailBlazer was Introduced in 1999 as an upscale iteration of the Blazer, and the two overlapped production until the Blazer's demise in 2005. The SS model, the first Chevy truck to get the Super Sport badge, hit the market for the 2006 model year and pushed out almost 400hp from the standard 6.0 litre L2 engine.  A mid-sized truck with the heart of a Corvette hitting 60mph in 5.8 seconds usually calls for some serious braking power.

Chevy was selling a quarter-million TrailBlazers a year during the truck's prime. The entire line was wrapped up in 2009 but fans still stoke the fires of rumor that one day the TrailBlazer will rise again.

StopTech, the ultra-performance division of Centric Parts, is a leading innovator of world-class brake components and brake systems for production-based racing cars and high performance vehicles on the street and track.  StopTech was the first to offer balanced brake upgrades for production cars and remains the worldwide leader with more than 700 platform offerings to dramatically improve overall braking performance.

StopTech ultra-performance braking systems and components are available through motorsports distributors and performance automotive aftermarket retailers.  For more information on StopTech, visit

PHOTOS: Indy Series Racing Rescue Vehicles

A close up look at the StopTech-equipped trucks that come to the rescue at Indy Series races...

We caught up with the vehicle of the Holmatro Safety Team during the Indy Racing series stop at the Grand Prix of Long Beach.  These trucks are first responders on the track to accidents at Indy racing events across the country.

The fleet of Honda Ridgelines fit the bill with their ability to carry heaps of rescue and safety equipment to anywhere on the track in short order.

If you are going to whipping around an Indy racetrack at high speeds in a big truck laden with equipment, you had better have some great brakes.  They do - StopTech brakes from the ultra-performance division of Centric Parts.

Perhaps with the exception of the fire extinguisher tucked away next to the driver, the front interior of this Holmatro Safety Team vehicle looks like any other work-related pickup truck.

The Holmatro Safety Team vehicles have StopTech brakes on all the corners of the truck so they can handle all the corners of the windy Indy street tracks.

These Holmatro Safety Team vehicles roll in equipped for pretty much anything.

An on board water supply gives them the leg up on fire related emergencies if they beat the fire vehicles.

The interior of another Holmatro Safety Team vehicle.   There are 4 in the fleet that travel with both the Indy Lights and IndyCar series.

The Holmatro Rescue Team consists of approximately 24 safety personnel with a minimum of 14 attending each event--two trauma physicians, three paramedics and nine firefighters/EMTs. Team personnel have an average of 20 years of experience in their respective areas.

During events the Holmatro Safety Team trucks remain parked just off track in strategic locations across the course, with an on board crew of 4 ready to roll at a moment's notice.

These trucks came into service in 2010 and have proven themselves useful over and over again.  If you watch the TV coverage of these events, you'll spot them rolling into frame right before cutting to commercials after an accident on the track.

The Holmatro Safety Team works in conjunction with and coordinates the safety personnel staffing each venue, including firefighters, ambulance and tow-truck providers and track maintenance crews.  An eight-hour instructional course is held at every new venue on the schedule and the team meets with tracks for update sessions before each event.

The best way to one of these StopTech equipped monsters is to come to any Indy Series event.  They are often parked where the public can view them before and after the race.

May 19, 2011

How do you say "nice StopTech brakes on that 350Z" in French

StopTech just received these two pics from Urban Racing, a StopTech distributor in France.  Their project car has StopTech Trophy Big Brake Kits on them.  Looking good...

You can check out their website at in France, but you better learn French first.

May 16, 2011

Ken Block slides into Cars & Coffee Irvine

Cars & Coffee is a national and international phenomenon that has grown from a single informal gathering of car guys and gals to a huge franchise that seems to be popping up in just about every corner of the globe. These free weekly get-togethers are a great way for car people to meet and admire each other’s cars. As impressive as the list of cars at these shows is, the people behind them are frequently the bigger story. Sometimes, however, the car and the person seem to be so intertwined that seeing one without the other would seem very strange indeed.


Such was the case in Irvine this Saturday, when an oddly out of place bright green Euro Ford Focus RS was parked amidst a sea of other Focus models, many dressed in body kits that made them look like they were getting ready for the next X Games. How appropriate then that standing beside this lime green RS was none other than Monster World Rally driver, Ken Block. Anybody who considers themselves a car fan should know Block if they don’t already. Ken was a rally champion for Subaru for a number of years before making the jump to Monster last year.

In 2010, Monster ran a…wait for it…Ford Focus RS WRC, much like the one Ken brought out to Irvine. Even though the team has switched to the new Fiesta RS this season, Ken still uses this Focus RS as his daily driver. With Monster’s lime green and black colors, the hue of this RS was understandable, as were the green soled DC Shoes that Block was sporting.

Looking none the worse for wear following his horrific rally accident in March, Ken humored the throngs of fans by posing for pictures and signing just about anything thrust in front of him. He even signed a few cars. They were also handing out bumper stickers that read, “Hooning is not a crime!” We talked to Ken a bit and got the scoop on what he’s up to now.

Ken’s last race was his WRC event in Portugal where he rolled his car rather violently. Although his injuries were minor, Ken was happy to take a planned break to spend some time with his wife during the birth of their newborn baby. “The timing was actually perfect,” said Block. “I can rest and spend time with my new baby.”

Besides being the head of DC Shoes and a consultant on the rally gymkhana video game DiRT 3, Block keeps busy with not only WRC events, but also Gymkhana World Tour, Rally America and RallyCross events in addition to some hillclimbs and other special events. Throw a new baby into the mix and we’re guessing he’ll need to clone himself to keep up with those plans. He did say he is looking forward to being at the X Games RallyCross finale in Los Angeles at the end of July, and says his next WRC event won’t be until Germany in August, although he was heading down to South America soon for some WRC research.

When we asked him about his Focus RS, he said “It’s a great car. It’s my daily driver and I love it.” We also asked about Ford talking about dropping the RS model and sticking to an ST as its performance model in the future. “As far as I’m concerned, they need to keep the RS name. That RS stands for Rally Sport and that’s the whole point of this. The Focus is what I raced. Of course they’ve switched to the Fiesta this year, but hopefully they’ll keep an RS in there somewhere.”

May 10, 2011

Car Shows are in Bloom in SoCal

It's a special season out here in Southern California. Smog season? No, the air has been quite clear lately actually. Bikini season? Not yet, but there have been a few nice days already.

It's that time of the year when car shows start to bloom all over the landscape. They come in wide range of sizes and varieties, but it's a great time for car enthusiasts.

We are not talking about formal, corporate car shows such as the Los Angeles Auto Show (which is actually in November) or even the car expos that accompany events like the recent Long Beach Grand Prix.

We are talking about the free ones that pop up in parking lots either on a weekly basis or just once a season. We are talking about the no charge events that local towns close their main street for. We are talking about shows populated with cars drawn from and driven by the local communities. Here is where the Southern California car culture meets.

There are of course the larger ones that you may have already heard of. A perfect example is Cars & Coffee () on Saturday mornings in an Irvine parking lot. This event has grown in popularity to the point where it attracts prototypes and other cars before they show up in more formal shows.

Beyond those are the dozens, if not hundreds of hyper local events that crop up every weekend. One we checked out this weekend was the "Cruise at the Beach" in Redondo Beach. It's a perfect example of SoCal car culture on the small scale. It's held in the parking lot of a Ruby's Diner on Friday nights from 4-8pm between April and October. Several dozen cars (sometimes more) attract hundreds of people each week right next to the harbor. The pics in this post are all from that event.

California does not have the corner on the local car show market. So next time you are driving around and see a bunch of cool cars parked with a forming crowd, think about pulling over and checking it out.

May 6, 2011

So Long SEMA Solstice!

So today marks the end of the SEMA Solstice. The 2010 SEMA show was winding down its last day exactly six months ago and the 2011 edition will be doing the same in exactly six months. For many exhibitors, it marks the time to start planning the next show.

It's worth noting that Centric Parts actually exhibits at two aftermarket trade shows in Las Vegas during that first week in November each year. While SEMA at the Las Vegas Convention Center gets top billing in the media, it is actually paired up with the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) at the Sands Convention Center across town to form Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week (AAIW).

Centric Parts sets up its main booth over at AAPEX while StopTech and Power Slot, the company's ultra-performance and performance divisions, enjoy the limelight of the SEMA Show. In any case, you have to agree that SEMA Solstice sounds better than AAPEX Apogee.

The biggest annual gathering of the automotive aftermarket industry brings about lots of news. Some of the biggest announcements from StopTech and Power Slot in recent years were made at or around SEMA. These include Power Slot's award-winning Power Alloy rotors, StopTech's Trophy Sport and Touring Big Brake Kits, and a complete Centric Parts wheel bearing and seal program.

The SEMA show is the largest show to hit the Las Vegas convention center each year, despite not being open to the public. At this point most people try to claim that the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is bigger. Nope. The top floor of one of halls is the adult video convention during CES, whereas SEMA takes up every level of all three halls. It's pretty near impossible to see everything even though the show runs four days long.

So if you are in the industry, start booking rooms now to get the best deals. If you are exhibiting, now is definitely the time to start planning your show strategy. If you can't make it, you can always follow along on the Internet.

Happy SEMA Solstice!

May 4, 2011

Car Scenes - Cool Cars in Short Vids

A few months ago, StopTech rolled out its first "Car Scene" video.  Since then there have been several instalments to the series.  Each one is a short video featuring a quick look either one or group of cool cars.

Several of these first ones were shot at the SEMA show.  This is the biggest trade event for the automotive aftermarket, held every November in Las Vegas.  Se we are celebrating the SEMA Solstice this week, which a term we quite frankly invented for the first week in May which represents the midpoint between the last and next SEMA show.

To mark the occassion we are embedding the entire Car Scenes video series so far into this post, starting first with the brand new installment featuring five more cars from SEMA, all wearing StopTech brakes. As a bonus we will wrap it up with a reposting of the "SEMA Scene" video which was essentuially the pilot for what became the "Car Scenes" series.