O.Z. Racing Introduces the Ultraleggera Center-Lock Wheel for 997 GT2 and GT3

Saturday, August 28, 2010 by Damon Witters
The Porsche crowd has been screaming for a strong, lightweight version of the factory single-bolt hole wheels since the cars were introduced. O.Z. Racing in Italy has listened and responded with what will undoubtedly be the best value wheel out there for the car.

Ultraleggera Superforgiata Initial Sizes and Current Pricing
(Prices current as of 8/30/2010 and subject to change without notice.)
  • 19x8.5 ET53 - $629.00
  • 19x9 ET47  - $639.00
  • 19x11 ET51 - $679.00
  • 19x12 ET63 - $699.00
  • 19x12 ET48 - $699.00
Compare to your stock GT2 or GT3 sizing.

997 GT3: 19x8.5 - 53ET or 19x12 - 63ET

997 GT3 RS: 19x9 - 47 ET or 19x12 - 48 ET

997 GT2 RS 10-spoke: 19x9 - ET 47 or 19x12 - ET 48 (same as GT3 RS)

These are the same one-piece forged, heat-treated and track-proven wheels that have been available in the standard 5-bolt version for some time. Black only at this time. Wheels are expected in stock within 4-6 weeks.

Comparable wheels start at about $5,000 a set. How does $2,650 sound for four wheels that we would put toe-to-toe against anything forged for strength?

"Pretty darn irresistible" is the right answer!

Thoughts on My Hypertech Max Energy Power Programmer

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 by Damon Witters
My everyday driver is an '04 F-150 with the 5.4 liter V8. It's a great truck, but as you can imagine it's pretty thirsty -- 14 city, 15.5 highway is the best I have ever gotten on it. When we started carrying the Hypertech Max Energy Power Programmer I decided I would try one. I figured the gas savings over time would pay for it and I'd get a performance increase to boot.

The first thing I did when I got it was plug it into my laptop and update it to their latest tune via their website. Install was easy; I just followed the instructions. I bumped all shift points up about 300 rpm to squeeze a bit more out of it and besides that pretty much left it alone. After telling it to upload, the install took about 5 minutes.  REAL easy to do.

The true test is my annual trip to Ohio from home base in Indiana. It's about a 400-mile round trip. I was really anxious to see what it did for my gas mileage. Last year without it I got 15.5 mpg; this year, just under 18. Not bad, given that the engine is so big. The increase was just what their website says it would be. I bet with a new air filter I would have done even better.  City mileage hasn't really changed, but I attribute that to me getting into it more because of the different shift points!

Overall the truck idles better and is having no problems with it. It's a recommended product!

Check out the O.Z. Racing Ultraleggera on a Porsche 996 Turbo.

Friday, July 16, 2010 by Damon Witters
I thought I would share customer-provided pictures of the O.Z. Racing Ultraleggera in 19-inch. Simply amazing.

19 x 11, 40mm offset rear
19 x 8.5, 53mm offset front

The tires are 235/35-19 and 315/25-19 Michelin Pilot Sport PS2. This is one of the nicest wheel sets I have seen in a while. How can I not share it?


Click to view larger.     Click to view larger.

You have to watch out for more than just the other drivers on the track.

Monday, June 14, 2010 by Damon Witters
Michelin Pilot Sport Cup Tires. Check.

Hawk Blue 9012 Track Only Brake Pads. Check.

Forged Racing Wheels. Check.

A day booked at the track. Ahhhhhhhh. Bliss. The smell of hot brakes, tires and engines. Old, bald men going through their midlife crises and standing around their new Porsches and BMWs comparing the size of their tires and scratching their bellies at the price they paid for the wheels that will no DOUBT take valuable seconds off their lap times. Seconds that will make them KING of the water cooler on Monday morning. As they are removed from the trailer and installed one by one, how many of them are inspected for cracks? You'd be surprised.

"These wheels are FORGED, and they won't break!" I hear it more than you'd think. Thing is, what most people don't realize is that while lightweight and strong, any wheel , even forged wheels, can crack due to stress or impact. There may not be an obvious bend in the wheel. Where there is a crack, there is a break waiting to happen.

While it's fun to tease (out of jealousy, really), it is important to remember that regardless of what you are racing on, it's imperative that you periodically check your wheels for cracks.

Modern performance cars with high output engines, huge brakes and well tuned susspensions put as much force and stress on wheels as many dedicated race cars. Race teams go through great trouble to inspect wheels for signs of trouble. You should inspect yours, too. The intense extended heat and stress caused on the entire vehicle requires that drivers take extra time and care to ensure there is no hidden damage to any vehicle component.

We have a great tech article that track drivers find useful.

Being king of a Monday morning water cooler means you have to be able to get to it first.

Tire Rack Introduces the BBS CH-R for Porsche!

Saturday, May 22, 2010 by Damon Witters
As one of BBS' primary US importers, we are so glad to announce that the much-awaited BBS CH-R wheel for Porsche is now in stock. Available in black or silver with polished stainless lips, they will take the stock Porsche center cap -- a BBS first! Low pressure cast and shaped using BBS' exclusive flow forming process,  they will provide all the strength of a forged wheel - at half the price!

BBS CH-R Porsche 5 x 130Available in:
19X8.5 5-130 ET51
19X9   5-130 ET53
19X10  5-130 ET38 
19X11  5-130 ET56
19X12  5-130 ET45

Available fitments will take stock Porsche center caps, TPMS sensors, and in most cases Original Equipment tires. BBS caps are included with the wheels.
Note: Unlike other car fitments, the Porsche wheels do NOT have the Motorsport etching adding to the clean look and lines of the wheel. 

Take a walk down pit row at any Indy or Formula 1 race and what do you see in the pits? That's right, mostly BBS.  Why? Because their reputation for quality and reliability is simply unsurpassed.

If you are able to be part of the Porsche family, be the first guy at the next PCA event with a set!

Is It Really That Hard to Check Your Tire Pressure?

Thursday, May 13, 2010 by Damon Witters
So I'm sitting at an intersection today listening to my favorite big hair heavy metal band from the 80s (don't laugh, it's coming back you know) and I look over to see your favorite car and mine - a minivan, next to me with rust, unwashed windows, and yup, a tire that's near flat. I shake my head in disbelief. "Is it really that hard to check your tire pressure ?" I think to myself.

Then I look around. 

Apparently some people is in fact most people. Look around for yourself. According to the NTSB, twenty-seven percent of passenger cars with regular passenger car tires have at least one tire that is under inflated by 8 psi or more. And that's just the cars. As I look around at this particular intersection I figure it's at least that. Now I see the reason that all new cars come with tire pressure monitoring systems standard. Evidently we have all become so busy that we cannot take the time to check our tires once a month. It takes literally a minute to do. Heck, in most new cars you just hit a button and look at the readout on the dash! If you need a nice tire gauge, we sell them. Older car and don't have a TPMS system;  Yep, we can help you there too. The gas you save a year by having the right pressures (1.2 billion gallons a year!) will pay for them, guaranteed.

Take some time to read up on TireRack's tire technical articles. Especially this one. They are all written by guys who know more about tires than thought humanly possible.  Take the time to be informed.  Because informed drivers are more conscious.  And a conscious driver is a safe one.

And check out the new Iron Maiden.  I don't care what my wife says, it's awesome!

O.Z. Alleggerita and Porsche - A Perfect Combination for the Track

Friday, May 7, 2010 by Damon Witters
Available since June 2010, O.Z. Racing has designed for the market a cost-effective alternative to expensive, forged race wheels. Low pressure cast and heat-treated with a 2-year build and finish warranty;  they are tested and pass to the same TUV, JWL, and VIA standards as forged wheels costing over twice as much. 

The  Alleggerita has been a runaway hit among the grassroots Porsche racing community. Tire Rack is proud to be the U.S. importer of this great wheel into the the USA. Don't take my word for it - see what real users are saying about this great wheel on popular Porsche forums Tire Rack sponsors here and here

Please contact us for more details!

Reflections on a great winter season!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010 by Damon Witters
As I sit here on a day in early February staring at the phone to ring, I have a chance to reflect on what a great winter season it was this year. I was able to help quite a few customers get through the winter and many people purchased before the first snow fall this season.
Winter driving

Let me take a minute to explain how important ordering early can be.

Every year we can always count on the calls for winter product from late September through Christmas.  But this year I saw an animal of a different color I have never seen in my 7 years here:  More calls earlier than in years past.  And I'm not talking the people who woke up and called us with their first cup of coffee here, either.  I'm talking about pro-active people.  You know, the ones you always secretly resent because at the end of the day their to-do lists are always all checked off and they go home with spotless desks!
But joking aside, a trend we have seen in the past here at Tire Rack is some scrambling in Mid-December to buy whatever's left because people hoped they could get through the year on all-season tires instead of Blizzaks, or Michelin X-Ice, or any snow tire.  This year we helped quite a few driver in October, and that's a great thing.

Why?  Because it means people are listening.

Listening to their friends who buy snow tires.  Listening to us. Watching the advertising (have you seen our new commercials on TV?  Pretty snazzy.) in both print and online.  Generally "getting it" that winter tires really do get you and your family from A-B more safely.  Helping more people in October this year means that people are excited about getting into safer tires before the white-knuckle trip to work one morning in late November on three-quarter worn all seasons seemed like they would get through one more winter.  It's an exciting trend to see, and we hope it continues. 

Because really, how much fun is it to use the car in front of you to stop?  

If you have not tried a real dedicated snow tire yet, think about putting a set at the top of the list next year.


Silicone, the wave of the wiper blade future from TireRack

Friday, August 7, 2009 by Damon Witters

I have been a huge fan of our PIAA Super Silicone wiper blades for some time.  Last week I ran through a construction zone that splattered tar all up the front of my truck.  I had to use Laquer Thinner to clean it all off the windshield.  I followed it up by 50/50 alcohol and water mix and then finally Windex. At that point I knew it was as clean as it could be and the initial silicone treatment that comes with the blades was removed.  After just a week of wiper use you can clearly see the blades have re-deposited a new thin layer of silicone back onto the window to repel water JUST like they claim.  And with proper care they last a long time.

Very cool.

Peace, Love.....and Daisy shaped wheels from Tire Rack.

Thursday, August 6, 2009 by Damon Witters
Flower Power.  Since the 60's it has been a catch phrase for everything involving freedom of peace,  expression and love.  If you drive a VW Bug, show your love for your car and bring peace to the intersection with a set Sport Edition Daisy wheels bought direct from Tire Rack!   

Made in 16" for your stock tires.  They accept stock mounting hardware, they really bring out your inner Hippy.

Miracle Grow not included.

Far out, man.

The OZ Ultraleggera for Porsche - Direct from TireRack

Thursday, July 9, 2009 by Damon Witters
The Tire Rack is the US importer for OZ America we have been selling this OZ wheel now for awhile.  I have the pleasure of dealing with many of our Porsche clients now through web forumns that we moderate for Porsche and other sports cars such as 6speedonline and Rennlist.   The wheels have become very popular as lightweight racing wheels.   Made for all late model Porsches like 911, Boxster, and Cayman they are lightweight, durable, and available in several colors.  Many accept Porsche center caps, too!

See the wheels HERE!