Monday, January 3, 2011

Rota No Joke !

Just heard from our Australian dealer a customer of his took it upon himself to do some very serious testing of Rota wheels.

He bought some Grid Drifts, 18x9.5 ET30 Fr 18x10 et15 Rear , and threw some full slicks on.

He then went and gave it death on a track, after having his car tuned to produce around 600hp.

Not only did he weigh the Rotas and Slicks against his standard wheels and find them some 10kg lighter per corner, but he really felt the difference in terms of serious lap time improvements, as well as the feel and handling of the car was significantly improved.

Once he finished this track action, after being so slated for running these wheels previously, he took it to a whole new level, and got them ultrasound and xrayed, to double check their integrity.

These wheels are random set, sent to him from stock, with no prior knowledge of his plans for them...

I will now let the pictures speak for themselves.

As you can see it's no lightweight low-load track toy, and the xray shows not only a total lack of defects, but everything to be in excellent order and entirely uniform. The track time was maximum attack, taking full advantage of the curbs.

"At the risk of having my head bitten off (again) thought i would post up the results, running these Rota rims and 2nd hand Porsche Cup slicks.

Previously at Oran Park i had run 18" Enkie GTC-01 with RE55's (SR). My time on the GP circuit was 1:16.7, which should translate to a flat 47 or thereabouts on the south circuit. However i had never run the Enkie/55 combo on the short circuit before. Anyhow, as some of you know i stumbled upon these Rota rims - they happen to fit the R35 (just). If you want to argue the merits of these being TE37 copies, please start another thread and/or send your abuse to me via PM. I just want you guys to know the results.

Fitment: Front caliper to wheel clearance is extremely close. Probably too close. I ended up running a 3mm spacer to extend the clearance +1mm or so. Running at Oran Park (where the back pit area is like driving through a frigging gravel trap) i was getting a few rocks stuck between the caliper and the wheel. Lots of scratches on the inside wheel and caliper. Not good. Probably a non issue at a clean track though. So fitment, whilst it works, it is not ideal in this regard. Sizes: The rims are 18x9.5x30 (fronts) and 18x10x15 (rears). Tyres were 2nd hand Porsche Cup slicks (270/68/1. IMO these tyres are da bomb. They fit absolutely perfectly, see pic below. You can run the same tyre front and back. Weight of this combination is about 10kg per corner less vs stocker wheels with bridgestones, or 3kg lighter vs the enkei + 55 setup. Insane.

Performance: Absolutely sensational, stunning. Now, i was running a new Willall tune which i know helped, but the car felt much lighter and nimble. It was like a difference car in that sense. It took a while longer for the slicks to come on (probably 1.5 laps vs 1.0 laps) and they are more slippery when cold. When they came on there was definitely more grip. I would hazard a guess these tyres have 10% to 15% more grip than the 55's - this is just a seat of the pants guesstimate. Perhaps a new set of the slicks would be better again.

Results: Ended up running a 46.3 on the day. So by my estimates this combination is about 0.7s faster on the short track, which should extrapolate to about 1.0 ** 1.2 seconds faster on the GP circuit. Now, as mentioned i was running the Willall tune too, which was a key component to the overall performance on the day, however the short track is rather one dimensional. I think the improvement due to the tune would be greater on the long circuit. Can't wait to try!

Rota Robustness: A have a video showing lots of curb hopping on the day, i smashed these rims like all the others We've since had the rims x-rayed and ultrasonically tested. The rims are faultless. I will post the x-rays as soon as we get them converted. I think they are doing some material identification and hardness testing too. So, if you have something disparaging to say about these rims, keep this in mind.

Conclusion: Tyres show lots of promise, i would love to run a new set. The rim/caliper clearance is questionable. It does work, but not ideal. I would really like to compare the caliper clearance to say a TE37. If the TE37's have the same clearance, i would not be happy to pay $5000 for a set. So, i am contemplating wht to do. Martin, have you info on the TE37 caliper clearance yet? Really keen to see how you go.
"An old racer i spoke to says he used to xray every wheel he raced on, and reckons about 50% of the wheels he tested had some flaws. Anyway the ultimate test was smashing it around Oran Park bouncing off the curbs in an R35 pulling way more than 1.5g's"

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