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Lightweight Wheels Taken To A New Extreme From CCW

TS12 Corvette 2Lightweight wheels for your performance driver or race car are on the top of every builder’s list. Reducing unsprung weight at each corner benefits suspension operation because the interial loads the dampers and springs must overcome are reduced. Less fatigue on suspension means better longevity, and ultimately faster response to dynamic surface conditions.

CCW has been toiling away in an effort to bring the weight down for racers, and between their engineering and manufacturing have developed a racing wheel tipping the scale at under 18 pounds. The TS12 Corsair R-Spec is an 18×9-inch wheel to suit the demands of the modern race car or sports car.

Left: 18-inch under 18 pounds. Right: 19-inch under 20 pounds.

According to CCW, even though TS12 is characterized by staggeringly low weight, “We have seen no decrease in performance characteristics by any measure — load, number of cycles in rotary or fatigue tests, and deflection.”

Shea Holbrook TS12Among the avant-garde to employ this new rolling stock are Shea Holbrook of Shea Holbrook Racing. Having just announced their return to touring car racing, “Shea Racing will campaign two Honda Accords in the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) championships. Shea Holbrook, 6-time PWC winner climbs back into a Touring Car seat joined by new teammate, 19-year-old, Jason Fichter,” according to their press release.

“Technical partnerships include CCW Custom Wheels and Rims. Holbrook will be sporting the newly launched TS12 Corsair R-Spec engineered track performance,” they continue.

Shea Holbrook racing was an integral partner with CCW in developing the Corsair TS12 — designing a wheel to suit the application of a touring car on a diet. “I specifically worked with Keith Kern, General Manager of Weld CCW Forged Wheels on our custom build,” explained Holbrook.

“The Honda Accord is one of the heaviest Touring Cars in the field weighing in at 3,050 pounds. Therefore, we took all necessary measures for weight reduction and CCW was able to help us with that,” she continued.

Forged wheels require some of the most time-intensive manufacturing processes to transform from raw forging to machined wheel. Development doesn’t stop at a computer drawing and pressing go on the mill, testing and proving-out operations must establish the end product as a viable design.

TS12 Corvette 3“Recently, I was able to see firsthand the engineering, time and styling that goes into the CCW TS12 wheel and needless to say, it’s incredibly impressive. Starting from a forged aluminum monoblock all the way down to an intense 3,000 pound rotary fatigue test for 300,000 cycles — it’s almost hard to believe how lightweight and durable the CCW TS12 is,” concluded Holbrook.

To achieve this engineering feat, several sub-processes go into the production of the TS12. The surface of the wheels are shot-peened — this process bombards the surface of the part with steel shot with sufficient force to alter the aluminum’s mechanical properties. The imparted stress in the material surface aides against crack propagation and other defects from harming the wheel.

Shea Holbrook Racing plans to get out and test the new CCW TS12 Corsair R-Spec wheels sometime mid-February 2016. In the mean time check out CCW to get your own set of lightened monoblock wheels.

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About the author

Trevor Anderson

Trevor Anderson comes from an eclectic background of technical and creative disciplines. His first racing love can be found in the deserts of Baja California. In 2012 he won the SCORE Baja 1000 driving solo from Ensenada to La Paz in an aircooled VW. Trevor is engaged with hands-on skill sets such as fabrication and engine building, but also the theoretical discussion of design and technology. Trevor has a private pilot's license and is pursuing an MFA in fine art - specifically researching the aesthetics of machines, high performance materials and their social importance to enthusiast culture.
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