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      07-25-2011, 02:12 PM   #1
paradocs98
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Race wheel failure in Continental Challenge

I was watching my DVR recording of the recent Continental Challenge race at Laguna Seca and saw that the EXACT SAME Freedom Autosport Mazdaspeed3 broke a wheel that broke one at the previous race. The left front wheel center sheared/separated from the wheel barrel at the periphery as the car compressed at the bottom of the corkscrew. The exact same wheel separation took place with this car (#27) at a previous race this season. So...my question is what wheel brand was this so we know to stay away from it. I tried a Google search to no avail. Anyone have any info?
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      07-25-2011, 03:54 PM   #2
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Most likely magnesium wheels. They're more prone to impact forces shattering them than aluminum alloy. But they're hella light. I once picked up a bare wheel for a PTG car and it can't possibly have weighed more than 12 lbs.
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      07-25-2011, 05:54 PM   #3
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I saw that too. There are no stickers on the car for a wheel brand, and no info on the website. The wheels look like many track wheels, so it's not easy to figure out from just looking.

This is exactly why I always run OEM wheels at the track. They're homologated for the vehicle application and they ARE strong enough. They might weigh five pounds more, but I'm OK with that.

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I was watching my DVR recording of the recent Continental Challenge race at Laguna Seca and saw that the EXACT SAME Freedom Autosport Mazdaspeed3 broke a wheel that broke one at the previous race. The left front wheel center sheared/separated from the wheel barrel at the periphery as the car compressed at the bottom of the corkscrew. The exact same wheel separation took place with this car (#27) at a previous race this season. So...my question is what wheel brand was this so we know to stay away from it. I tried a Google search to no avail. Anyone have any info?
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      07-26-2011, 10:47 AM   #4
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I've been searching too. Maybe we can find someone with connections to the team who would know.
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      07-26-2011, 05:30 PM   #5
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Look like team dynamics?
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      07-27-2011, 05:17 AM   #6
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I've been searching too. Maybe we can find someone with connections to the team who would know.


They were OZ Racing leggerita wheels. But what you need to realize is in racing like that the drivers do anything to extract an extra tenth of a second out of the car, so jumping over large abusive curbs is not uncommon. Stress cracks happen on any wheel in racing or on the street, the teams check the wheels and then just toss them in the trash when they find these microscopic cracks. But on that particular car, the team never checked the wheels for cracks in the last YEAR.

Dont believe me? Well wait until you see this weeks race from new jersey. The car will run THE SAME WHEELS ON IT, nobody is that stupid to put unsafe wheels back on a race car. The wheels were not the issue in this case.

Also another wheel didn't fail at an earlier race in the season, it failed in that same race.
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      07-28-2011, 01:56 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info! Very informative. I guess wheels are considered disposable items for race teams, but that's the first time I've seen such a dramatic wheel failure in the structure of the wheel itself.
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      07-28-2011, 09:36 PM   #8
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Most likely magnesium wheels. They're more prone to impact forces shattering them than aluminum alloy. But they're hella light. I once picked up a bare wheel for a PTG car and it can't possibly have weighed more than 12 lbs.
Ha! I own 9 of those old PTG wheels. They're about 16 - 17 lbs a piece.


My old e90 in the parking lot at work.

My old e46 at laguna.


Never had one break here. Note the suspension is bottomed out.
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      07-29-2011, 12:04 AM   #9
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Those aren't the wheels from PTG I'm talking about. The ones that weighed like 12 lbs are from the old M3 GTR program and appears to be two piece. The spokes were magnesium and the barrel aluminum alloy I think.
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      07-29-2011, 11:16 PM   #10
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That's one heckuva drop in that corkscrew. Not your typical road course. Watching the replay you saw the car really hit hard. But yeah, made me wonder about the wheels too.
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