This morning at the 2016 Performance Racing Industry (PRI) show in Indianapolis, Tacoma Washington-based Ultra-Carbon announced a truly revolutionary product for the drag racing industry. Ultra-Carbon revealed the wheel at the show – Ultra–Carbon has designed and built a carbon fiber wheel purpose-built for drag racing. Built to withstand the rigors of the most powerful cars on the track, the wheels will be initially marketed for Pro Mod and Pro Stock use, with wheel offerings in other sizes for other classes to follow after SFI testing is complete.
Ultra-Carbon’s initial drag wheel offering will be 16 x 16-inch, 16 x 17-inch, and 16 x 18-inch and weigh in at under 12 pounds per wheel before adding aluminum beadlock rings and titanium mounting hardware — a weight savings of 7 pounds over a similarly-sized aluminum version.The initial design will be built to SFI 15.3 specs, meaning they’re safe for use in Pro Mod, Pro Stock, and other high horsepower classes. Once that design has been nailed down and passed the rigorous SFI testing protocol, Ultra-Carbon will begin building the SFI 15.4-spec wheels for use in more demanding classes like Top Alcohol and Top Fuel.
At this time, they don’t plan to build non-beadlock-style rear wheels and the initial pricing estimate is at $8,000 per pair for the rears with Ti hardware and aluminum rings. Ultra-Carbon owner Greg Shampine added they’re already working on matching front wheels, as well.
Shampine is extremely excited to bring such an innovative product to market.
“Nothing like this has even been attempted as far as I know and there’s certainly a long way to go before we bring these to market, but SFI testing will tell us if we’re headed the right direction and how close we are, “Shampine said of the project.
“I really enjoy building the structural pieces, things that have to be strong, things nobody else is doing right now. We’ve had success building motor plates and mid plates that are stronger, lighter, and more affordable than anybody else has been able to make them,” Shampine added.
From engine plates, Ultra-Carbon took on other complicated structural products, including rocker arms, torque converters, and connecting rods. And while not all of those products ended in success, Shampine was able to learn from each project and apply that knowledge to the badass project you see here today.