Parolin Racing Kart developed an innovative brake system for the MINI category. This technical solution equips the Opportunity chassis and is characterised by a monobloc rear caliper machined from a solid block with radial attachment.
Thanks to the performances and successes of the Opportunity chassis in the past few years, Parolin Racing Kart has emerged as the benchmark for the MINI class. Parolin’s technicians took advantage of the 2020 homologation, which represents the first of the newly CIK-FIA “certified” versions for the 60 MINI category, to focus on creating a totally new brake system. The AP06 MINI marks an improvement compared to the previous MINI AP-Race model (CSAI homologation), as it features increased rigidity and decreased torsion during braking, while maintaining high levels of reliability.
The AP06 MINI’s brake caliper derives directly from the front version of the KZ system. The primary characteristic of this technical innovation is the brake modulation, which represents a pivotal factor when the go-kart requires immediate braking while maintaining high speed throughout corners.
CNC machined from a solid block of material with extreme accuracy, the caliper is equipped with two 27 mm magnetic pistons in order to control the pads’ braking strength on the disc. Parolin technicians’ hard work also resulted in better cooling and in a decrease in the weight of the AP06 MINI caliper thanks to a significantly pronounced tapering. An additional improvement compared to the previous version regards the lower maintenance, achieved as a consequence of the absence of the half-shells’ fastening screws and of the sealing O-rings. Lastly, the total redesign of the oil channels inside the caliper has facilitated brake bleeding, which is now carried out only once, as it is a monobloc caliper.
Furthermore, the floating and self-ventilated brake disc has a 150 mm diameter and features holes on its surface to achieve greater heat dissipation capacity during braking.
Parolin Racing Kart completely modified the master cylinder and introduced the model that is used in the higher classes. The outcome includes better reliability, as the different anodising adopted enables the reduction of possible leakages and therefore a lower maintenance of the component. A piston with a 22 mm diameter functions inside the master cylinder, which is machined from a solid aluminium block. Moreover, there are four possible anchoring positions for the lever on which the rod leading to the brake is fastened. This solution offers drivers a wider range of options in order to adapt to their braking preferences. As the rod is fastened lower, the force that needs to be exerted on the brake pedal increases because its stroke becomes shorter. Contrarily, as the lever is higher, the force that is necessary for braking decreases because the stroke becomes longer.
In addition to the aforementioned advantages, the AP06 MINI benefits from great adaptability. Being aware that adapting braking to driving style is crucial for improving performance, the company’s technicians equipped the new MINI brake with three different types of brake pads: hard (black), medium (green) and soft (red). The degree of hardness of the friction material varies among the different pads, which are all smaller. In fact, Parolin’s experts believe that only the force exerted by the piston on the pad directly impacts on the disc. Consequently, the use of larger pads would represent a risk, as they could cause a lower thrust to the external areas, which is essentially not very useful.
To know more about the AP06 MINI brake by Parolin Racing Kart and discover all its potential, read TKART’s article “AP06 Mini: the 2020 mini-kart brake system by Parolin Racing Kart“.
Parolin Racing Kart’s steering angle adjustment system offers the possibility of changing the Ackermann angle in a few seconds thanks to a simple and efficient solution, which can significantly improve the chassis’ performance. It represents a standard trait on all the company’s racing chassis, including the “Opportunity” MINI kart.
The adjustable steering column support produced by Parolin Racing Kart presents a distinctive feature, as it enables the adjustment of the Ackermann angle in just a few seconds by turning only four screws and without having to remove anything. Furthermore, this innovative system allows to refine the adjustment of the front geometries, with the goal of adapting to all the different tracks and using the narrowest possible steering angle. In fact, this leads to greater smoothness of the kart and a minor dissipation of engine power, therefore improving performance.
On the company’s chassis, the steering angle adjustment system is positioned directly on the steering column support since a decade. The boxed shape of the support is a primary aspect to consider, as it is designed to increase rigidity in a part of the chassis that faces consistent pressure when the driver changes direction in between corners, with oscillations generating additional stress for the front tyres and consequently leading to blistering. On all Parolin Racing Kart’s chassis, instead, the boxed shape, which is closed on all sides, reduces these involuntary movements and decreases the component’s weight too.
Thanks to the boxed support and the slide that slides inside it, this solution provides a wide range of options to modify the front-end setup. The maximum displacement of the steering column is 30 mm in the MINI chassis and 35 mm in the higher categories’ chassis.
The advantages of the company’s adjustment column support can be verified through the impact that the geometry has on the behaviour of a go-kart on a track:
- Wider steering angle: given a rotation of the steering wheel, the kart’s trajectory will be tighter. To achieve this outcome, the slide on Parolin Racing Kart’s system must be moved towards the kart’s rear.
- Narrower steering angle: given the same steering, the kart’s trajectory will be more open. To generate this effect, the slide must be moved towards the kart’s front.
This solution enables the adaptation to every track, category and driving style. When arriving at a new track with no experience, the adjustment slide can be placed in standard position by aligning the fourteenth line on the slide (counting from the column side) to the two converging points of the boxed support. A 5-mm movement of the slide is required in order for inexperienced drivers to feel the impact of the changes, while a 1-mm movement is sufficient to refine the setup.
The work of Parolin technicians while designing the Ackermann angle adjustment system was aimed at speeding up geometric changes and increasing the potential of these regulations. As only four screws need to be turned in order to change the position of the black insert that moves the steering column, less experienced mechanics are empowered to change a kart’s steering too. Lastly, the speed and simplicity of this solution provide a remarkable benefit: drivers can test different steering setups and compare the results without being influenced by other factors, such as track grip or atmospheric temperature. Therefore, the ideal setup can be found in any situation and performance can be maximised.
To know more about the adjustable column support by Parolin Racing Kart and discover all its potential, read TKART’s article “The adjustable column support by Parolin Racing Kart“.