View Full Version : New Tech Article About Light Weight High Strength Gibson Racing Wheels

20-09-10, 05:24 PM

Hi All,

As many of you know, we are the exclusive Australian distributors for Gibson Racing Wheels.

As number of people are currently building new cars for next year's Superlap / World Time Attack Challenge or looking to improve their track day cars, we figure that an article about how Gibson's light weight and high strength wheels can improve your car's performance at the track may be of interest to a number of forum members ...


Gibson Road Race Wheels are custom built in diameters from 15 inches to 21 inches, with custom widths and offsets.

Large brake caliper and brake disk setups can be accomodated, with proper caliper clearance to ensure proper tolerances and to improve brake cooling.

As an example of the very light weight and high strength of Gibson Racing Wheels ...

An 18 x 10 inch Gibson Road Racing Wheel weighs under 8.6 kg, yet passed the SAE J238 cornering and fatigue test - with a test result of double the SAE J238 test standard.

Using extremely high quality materials, and designed & engineered by world renowned engineer Tim Gibson, Gibson Racing Wheels are 100% made in the USA, inhouse at Gibson Engineering in Huntington Beach California.

Gibson does it's own machining inhouse and hand assembly inhouse, ensuring absolute quality and precision at every step of the manufacturing process.

Gibson Road Race Wheels are precision custom manufactured with specialised structural aerospace alloy 2024-T351 aluminium centres.



Tim Gibson says:

"Decreasing a vehicle's unsprung weight and rotational moment of inertia and increasing a tyre's contact patch are two very effective methods of improving performance.

As a driver I was always impressed by how much effect the weight of wheels can have.

The force used to spin up the front and rear wheels on your car is created by the engine's horsepower.

So the heavier the wheels are, the more horsepower is being used to spin the wheels up to speed - this is called overcoming the rotational inertia of the wheel.

With rotating objects, i.e. heavy wheels, you in effect carry the weight twice. You have to move the weight, and you have to spin the weight.

The spin-up effect is dramatic. Anyone who has experimented with different weight flywheels on their engine can understand the difference. The higher the rotational inertia of the wheels, the more horsepower is being wasted in accelerating them.

Our wheels installations are typically larger than stock and designed to accept wider tyres, yet they frequently weigh over 25% less.

This reduction in unsprung weight and rotating mass alone results in dramatic performance improvements.

Add a wider, lower profile tyre with a larger contact patch and you significantly improve overall performance and reduce your lap times at the track.

The 3-piece design allows us the use of a billet 2024-T351 center.

The 2024-T351 material is classic aircraft wing spar material.

Therefore, a 3-piece Gibson Racing Wheel made of billet 2024-T351 can be lighter, stronger, and have lower rotational inertia than other wheels.

We are a California engineering corporation: Gibson Engineering, Inc. Gibson Engineering was started in 1992. We have extensive experience with aerodynamics, wind tunnel research, light weight structures, fabrication, and machine work.

We make absolutely the finest wheels commercially available."

As an example of how much weight a set of Gibson Racing Wheels can save, a set of Gibson 18" Road Race Sports Car wheels fitted to a customer's Porsche 911 RS America lowered the unsprung/rotating weight by over 7 lbs per wheel (3.17 kg per wheel) for a total weight saving of over 28 lbs total (over 12.7 kg weight saving in total) ... while increasing diameter 1" and width 1.5" over stock sizes.

An inch bigger in diameter, an inch and a half wider in width, and over 12.7 kg weight saving in total for 4 wheels.




In addition, an article was published in the January 2010 issue of Drag Racer Magazine, titled "Reinventing the Wheel, Tim Gibson Engineers a Winner".

The article in the magazine explores why Gibson Racing Wheels work so well, and includes various photos of the Gibson Racing Wheels factory in California, showing how Gibson Racing Wheels are manufactured.

You can download the Drag Racer Magazine article here ...



The Gibson Road Race 3 piece Wheels range can be found here ...


Gibson Drag Racing Wheels can be found here ...


- Adam