We visited the team at Tunehouse to get some insight into their Hot Tuner Challenge entry this year and discover Jim Ghelis makes a faultless macchiato.
Toyo Tyres: So Jim, what is the one thing you look for when creating a performance car?
Jim Ghelis: I look to the original engineering of a car and what I’m looking for is potential. If a car has a good base to work from then we know we can go somewhere with it.
TT: When a customer asks you to improve their car what do you normally recommend?
JG: We are about getting the balance right, from the ground up. Everything from the right tyres, to suspension, brakes and engine. Plus the car needs to drive just as well off the track as it does on the track -That’s very important to us.
TT: This is your 4th year at the HTC. What keeps you coming back?
JG: We go head to head with the top tuners in the country. The HTC is our way of benchmarking ourselves against our peers and my team get a lot out of performing well.
TT: What cars will you be bringing to HTC 2012?
JG: We have lined up three cars this year. An Audi S3, Mazda MPS 3 and a FG FPV F6. All cars have had a lot of work already but there is still plenty to do to get them ready for the day.
TT: How important will tyre choice be at HTC 2012?
JG: Tyres are the contact point to the road. They are the single most important performance upgrade component for that reason. After all, what’s the point in spending ‘000s on your engine with no grip. Anyone can do a burnout.
TT: How often do people get it wrong with tyre choice?
JG: All the time. Tyres are a consumable and people constantly underestimate the need for quality tyres.
TT: What’s your advice for choosing the right tyres?
JG: We tune the right tyre to the right person and car. We recommend people buy the best tyre they can afford and do their homework.
TT: What tyres will you be running at HTC 2012?
JG: Last year our clients chose to run Toyo R888’s. They were the researching type and before the event the Toyo’s had all the right specs on paper. On the day they more than did their job and we picked up a win. With any luck we will be running Toyo’s again.
TT: Good Luck Jim. We’ll see you at the shoot out.