As Pirelli World Challenge is North America’s top GT production-based road racing series, it makes perfect sense that Forgeline Motorsports has signed on as an official sponsor for the series in 2018. The Dayton-based company has been providing high-end one-piece and three-piece wheels for road and race applications for over twenty years, and has supported series like IMSA, World Challenge, SCCA Pro Racing, and virtually every amateur racing series in America. Most importantly, it is one of the few American wheelmakers which have supported Pirelli World Challenge since its beginning twenty-nine years ago.
“We are pleased to partner with Forgeline as an official sponsor of the Pirelli World Challenge. Forgeline has been a fixture in our paddock with their support of teams across all classes for many years. Their brand’s legacy of quality and performance is a welcome addition to our Series,” said Greg Gill, president and CEO of the Pirelli World Challenge Championships.
An active participant in the series since its transition to its current name and setup, Forgeline has been a favored wheel brand for challenge participants for two decades. Dave Schardt recalled, “Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Forgeline was one of the only USA custom-race-wheel manufacturers, and we had half of the field on Forgeline wheels.”
Forgeline’s numbers are still as strong in the PWC field. RealTime Racing founder and competitor Peter Cunningham has used Forgeline wheels on many of the team’s Honda and Acura racecars over the years. Cunningham said, “We choose Forgeline for a number of reasons, including their build quality, strength and light weight. Forgeline wheels have the added bonus of looking great on the cars, and we’re planning to use their wheels for many years to come,” the 43-race-winner adds.
RealTime’s TLX GT (2014) drove all four GA1R wheels, which were chosen for their superior balance of mass, deflection stiffness, and fatigue strength. Photo credit: Realtimerl.com
In the new world of homologation, Forgeline is the only USA-made wheel in the GTS field. These particular cars are quite similar to their road-going counterparts in terms of weight and spec, and utilize relatively little aerodynamic grip, so they have to be driven aggressively over curbs to find those last vital tenths. Therefore, the Forgeline wheels used on the Mustang GT4, the Camaro GT4R and the Panoz Avezzano all need to be massively resilient while dragging down the unsprung mass those few critical pounds. Drivers Lawson Aschenbach and Tony Gaples were the GTS and GTSA champions last year driving their GT4R Black Dog Racing Camaros, which were fitted with Forgeline’s GS1R wheels. These particular wheels use a 6061-T6 aluminum composition, I-beamed spokes, and a one-piece, forged monoblock construction.
Aschenbach’s Black Dog Camaro fitted with GS1R wheels.
This forging process aligns the grain structure, reduces porosity, and increases uniformity in the material, creating the highest strength-to-weight ratios and the most consistent quality. On average, their forgings are 40% stronger than cast aluminum.
This wheel is quite similar to the road-oriented GA1R wheel, but benefits from more material machined from the center area for additional weight reduction, as well as improved access to the lugs. In combination with a newer, softer-edged, chamfered outer lip, this enables faster wheel changes and, depending on size and offset, can save an additional pound of mass from each wheel. It also offers generous brake clearance, and with a 2100-lb street tire load rating and exceptional deflection stiffness, this wheel is engineered to withstand the rigors of top-level endurance racing. Especially since Pirelli World Challenge uses a proper slick tire, minimizing deflection stiffness is key to predictable handling.
The GS1R in Hot Rod Blue.
“We are pleased to partner with Forgeline as an official sponsor of the Pirelli World Challenge,” said Greg Gill, president and CEO of the WC Vision. “Forgeline has been a fixture in our paddock with their support of teams across all classes for many years. Their brand’s legacy of quality and performance is a welcome addition to our Series.”
The 2018 Pirelli World Challenge road racing schedule will begin in the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, March 9 to 11 followed by COTA March 23 to 25, the streets of Long Beach, California., April 13 to 15, Virginia International Raceway April 27 to 29, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park May 18 to 20, Lime Rock Park May 25 to 28, Road America June 22 to 24, Portland International Raceway July 13 to 15, Utah Motorsports Campus August 10 to 12, and Watkins Glen International August 31 to September 2.