Winmax the once small Japanese brake pad manufacturer are now known around the world thanks to their exploits on the stages of the WRC. Winmax manufacture a range of motorsport and performance brake pads for your road and time attack racer. A Winmax pad can quickly be identified by the gold backing plates. Winmax pads are a great value brake pad even in their most extreme materials and are definitely worth a try.
Winmax are predominantly a rally brake pad specialist but in recent time have moved more into circuit racing. Because of their rallying background their pads end to work well in time attack situations where there is not much of a warm up period and the pads work well from cold.
Road / Sport Pads – Winmax W1-W4
W1 – It is the closest application to stock braking feel, it has least amount of dust, and are silent. The braking performance is on par with stock pads, which are already very good in terms of general feel and braking power as far as OEM grade pads are concerned. The W1 is made for those who like to abuse the car a bit further than an average consumer of generic cars, and is intended to make the car feel not too much different in day to day use. Compatible with autocrossing on stock or summer radial tires.
The W2 is a step up from the W1. It still provides a very consistent feel of the stock pads, use parameters are the same, where it is mainly designed for street use, but with a lot more overhead and the most sporting of the pads that are still non-metallic. Because it is non-metallic like the W1, it has no significant dust issue or noise levels to be concerned. W2 increases driver control feel, a bit more bite, and higher temperature ranges and predictable fall off for when it does fade eventually.
W3 is the most economical grade of so called, “metallic pads” which introduce a ton more braking control, very different bite characters that are more intended for track conditions, and use of race compound tires. If you are an avid track driver, or semi-professional autocrosser, this is where you’d start to see very positive and racing use braking forces. It’s still perfectly safe for street, as long as you can deal with dust and slight noises. Some can, others abhor it… That’s just a choice for what people place as priority. W3 is VERY capable on the Sunday race scene, totally fir for those who use the brakes to 100% capacity, and driving skills to take it there.
W4 is similar to the W3, but adds yet a bit more braking bite, and prove a bit more endurance in longer sessions. The W4 will lap consistently, longer than W3 with similar feel. This is also a brake pad that starts to need a bit of caution for daily drivers, as very cold braking does feel slightly looser than at proper temps that is 50~100’c that it needs to be at before it is working as designed. Not an issue once accustomed to it however, even for daily driving. It does however, wear both rotors and pads at slightly higher rate, in exchange for all that super precise braking control and constant bite at all temperatures. While application for other cars with tiny calipers like S2000 or heavier cars like Impreza the W4 is made to feel like the W3. For the FRS however, it does tend to feel a bit leaning towards being track dedicated in use, and cost-performance.
Race Pads – Winmax W5-W7
And your question must now be, what is W5~W7? Well they are strictly designed for track dedicated use. These are very highly specialized high-metal content pads that are made for race tire operation, and rally and endurance conditions where grueling braking forces are applied for hours on end. W5~W7 exists in 3 grades for users to balance a preferred character, and also to tailor it exactly to the needs of a particular track, and stage. AS with any brakes, it can be used for the street, but the design intention being very far from this, it will not be a very good candidate for street spec with high levels of wear, and noise, as well as inconsistent performance when they are very cold. These are all about ultimate racing environment, and there in the right elements, they are one of the best, most economical and competitive choices for serious racing teams.
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