Forgeline Connects Own 25th Anniversary to IMSA 50th Anniversary Celebration
Wednesday, July 17, 2019

IMSA’s 50th Anniversary Celebration throughout 2019 has brought everything from historic liveries on race cars to interesting “throwback” styling decisions (Ford Chip Ganassi Racing’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship drivers rocking mustaches is an image that remains burned into our mind’s eye).

For Forgeline Motorsports, it presented an opportunity to align a milestone anniversary of its own with IMSA – think “Silver and Gold.”

Forgeline – the Ohio-based company that manufactures custom, made-to-order forged wheels for each individual customer and each unique vehicle application including race cars, exotics and Pro Touring vehicles – is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Owners (and twin brothers) Steve and Dave Schardt immediately saw the synergy with IMSA and a rekindled partnership was born.

“It’s a tie into IMSA’s 50th anniversary and our 25th anniversary,” said Steve Schardt. “Forgeline has been in the IMSA paddock for these 25 years with a variety of teams through the years. It’s something that we’re very proud about.”

Forgeline is most visible in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge paddock. Its wheels are currently featured on all Ford Mustang GT4 and Chevrolet Camaro GT4 race cars competing in the Grand Sport (GS) class. Steve mentions that, “As a homologated wheel, we are currently featured on teams such as Rebel Rock, KohR Motorsports, Ford Performance and Pesek (PF Racing).”

In fact, the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park 120 race on July 6 featured a pair of cars on Forgeline wheels battling for the win. Robin Liddell and Frank DePew came out on top in the No. 71 Rebel Rock Racing Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R, followed by Nate Stacy and Kyle Marcelli in the N0. 60 KohR Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4.

It was the latest chapter in a decades-long story for Forgeline, which has been a fixture in Pilot Challenge and previous iterations of the series dating back to the 1990s. The common thread throughout is that it’s always been about relationships, service and trust.

“There is a lot of heritage behind the Forgeline brand,” said Steve. “We’re in Dayton, Ohio, and back in 1970, our father revived a company called Dayton Wire Wheel, so we’ve been in the wheel business a combined 50 years.

“When you look at the Michelin Pilot Challenge GS class, it is a racing series that is family-oriented. You go to the races and you’ve got the Eversley family, James Clay and his crew, the Murillos, the Fosses and the Stacy family – I can go on and on and on. Those relationships are built on a solid foundation of a product that won’t fail and allows teams to finish the race despite wheel-to-wheel contact.”

And with that as a foundation, Forgeline worked together with IMSA Radio to create a new award for Pilot Challenge competitors this season. At each race, a winner of the “Forgeline Spirit of the Race” award is selected by IMSA Radio listeners to put a spotlight on an extraordinary – or perhaps unsung – performance by a competitor during the race.

“That’s why we have the Spirit of the Race Award,” says Steve. “Because there’s always someone that’s done something really cool during that race.”

Beyond racing, Forgeline also is one of the global manufacturers of performance wheels for exotics, sports cars, American muscle and premium SUVs.

“Some people want that extra performance and see that we have been building extraordinary wheels for 25 years,” says Dave Schardt. “We have more than 100 styles of wheels built under the same standards as our racing wheels.”

Learn more about the company and its American-made wheels at Forgeline.com.

Next up for the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge is the Lime Rock Park 120 on Saturday, July 20. With support from Forgeline, the race will be streamed live with IMSA Radio commentary at 11 a.m. ET on IMSA.tv. Television coverage will be available on NBCSN at 2 p.m. ET on Friday, July 26.

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