With the chassis, interior, and suspension fully sorted on the Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Veloster Turbo TCA build; the team has shifted focus to the last step of the wheels, tires, and brakes. As the final connection to the ground, the wheel, tire, and brake combo of any vehicle will determine how much power can be put down, how effective braking is, and most important — how will the car handle around a turn?
The team of mechanics and engineers at Bryan Herta Autosport navigated the framework of the TC America rulebook for this Veloster Turbo TCA build and aimed to get the most out of the Pirelli spec-tire.
The TC America cars racing TCA class all run on the same tire, a Pirelli competition slick. The Pirelli DH Compound slick in 245/620R17 is found on every vehicle in the class. The sidewall markings are a bit different than the average passenger tire, whereas ‘245’ refers to the width in millimeters, ‘620’ is the overall height (diameter) in millimeters and ‘17’ is the same standard of wheel size in SAE imperial inches found on the car sitting in your driveway.
With this Pirelli DH slick, the D stands for ‘Dry’ surfaces (or damp), and the ‘H’ is the hardest compound of the lineup. Pirelli offers this slick in four compounds Hard (H), Medium (M), Soft (S), Super Soft (SS). The Hard H compound used here is the spec for the series and helps teams get more life out of the tires over the season with impressive grip. For modest-sized teams, the less rubber burned, the better, and this Veloster Turbo TCA build makes that a top priority.
The Perfect Wheel
The Pirelli racing slick features a robust sidewall construction with broad shoulders that won’t flex much around the corners, but it needs to be matched with a strong wheel for an ideal combination. The Bryan Herta Autosport team is near final homologation on the build and tested different products along the way to find the ideal performance-to-price products available. The team was testing a competition-ready Sparco wheel along with several other manufacturers. They later settled on Braid Fullrace-A as their preferred wheel, sized in 17×8-inches for a perfect match with the 245mm width slick.
“Both [Sparco and Braid] are great wheel manufacturers,” says Assistant Team Manager, Bob McAleer. “But, in the end, we selected the Braid wheel, as they are also the wheels found on our Hyundai Veloster N TCR car. And, they provided slightly better brake clearance on the Veloster Turbo TCA.”
These full flow-formed aluminum wheels from Braid fit the needs of the team and meet all of the wheel guidelines found in Section 7.6 of the TCA class rulebook. Rules such as no modified or carbon fiber wheels are allowed, no turbofans are permitted for brake cooling, and the wheel has to be a minimum of 15 pounds.
To bolt them up securely, the Bryan Herta Autosport team went with stronger and longer aftermarket studs. In the TCA rulebook, any nut and stud can be used, but it must stay within the inside lip of the rim. The stud and nut combo BHA chose is identical to its Veloster N TCR for repeat-ability with race-proven results.
Putting On The Brakes
Behind the Braid wheels is a completely stock drivetrain right down to the axles, but the upgraded brakes are modified to deal with the track torture. The TCA rules make brake upgrades easy to follow: brake discs have to be under 331mm and can be single or 2-piece rotors, aluminum or steel hats. The calipers may be aluminum or steel but have a maximum of 4-pistons.
The Bryan Herta Autosport Veloster Turbo TCA runs Wilwood 4-piston 330mm up front with the capable OEM rear brakes in the back. Stopping power is upped with a set of Pagid racing brake pads and stainless-steel braided lines all around for added durability, and all-important pedal feel.
The Bryan Herta Autosport crew is confident in the Veloster Turbo TCA car it has built for the 15-year-old racing phenom, Tyler Gonzalez of St. Cloud, Florida. The Hyundai Veloster Turbo TCA is being unveiled at the TC America finale in Vegas this weekend.
With a bit of track time to get comfortable in the Hyundai at this event, BHA’s young driver will be ready to make an impact in 2020. Additionally, the Veloster Turbo TCA race car will be fully homologated and available for teams to buy from Bryan Herta Autosport.