Why are Center Lock Nuts on Racing Porsches Red and Blue?

Ever notice the center lock nuts on some Porsche race cars? Unlike the black/silver RS Spyder wheel nuts available on street cars, some racing Porsches will have red nuts on one side and blue on the other.

center lock nuts on Porsche 911 GT3 R

Notice the red nuts on the driver's side above (you can click on the image above for a larger version)

A number of you wrote to us and wanted to know why? The colors aren't just aesthetic; Red nuts are right hand threads and blue nuts have left hand threads. What's the difference? Simple, right hand threads are nuts that we're all familiar with. You know, "righty tighty, lefty loosey".

In racing, it's not uncommon to install right hand threaded nuts (red ones) on the left (US driver's side) and left hand threads (blue ones) on the right (passenger side). Teams do this so that all the wheels can come off by turning the nut in the same direction (toward the front of the car). In addition, and perhaps more importantly, this staggered setting ensures that the nuts won't loosen when the car is moving/accelerating.

Porsche 918 RSR with blue center lock nuts

Note the blue nuts on the passenger side of the 918 RSR

If there's something you want to know about your Porsche, or Porsche in general, let us know. We'll do our best to find an answer for you. You can get in touch using our contact form or give us a shout on Facebook.

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*Special thanks to Orbit Racing for help with answering this question

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  1. says

    It does not have anything to do with pit stops, if anything it makes them harder because you have to reverse the wheel gun twice as much. It is strictly a safety issue. It helps to keep the nuts from coming off if they are not tightened properly. The direction of rotation of the wheel forward will help tighten the nut. My MGB has them and I very rarely worry about pit stops!

  2. Andy Evans says

    The use of red on the port side (left) & an alternate color such as blue or green on the starboard side (right) of sea & air going ships represents the world navigational lighting system standard. It enables oncoming craft to identify from far in which direction the oncoming vessel is heading. Porsche implemented the colored hub system loosely based on this international standard. Red on left and blue on right.

  3. Bill says

    Why did’t Porsche keep with this system for the new street cars? It seems that some brainchild decided to reinvent the wheel or the attachment thereof with the new Centerlock system. It’s awful to use and expensive to monitor. There has already been one recall. I wish they would recall all of them and go back to lugs or the trackk system mentioned above. The present system is terrible for track use.

  4. 993C4S says


    Great question. I know a number of Porsche folks read our site. Maybe one will see your comment and provide an answer. I do know that the recall fixed the problems with the current street versions.

    Out of curiosity, what makes the present street version center lock so bad?

  5. Randy McCord says

    I just bought a 2011 Carrera GTS with center lock hubs. I know I’ll have to hobble into my dealer with a tire full of goo if I have a flat, but that’s what I had to do with my Boxster, also supplied with a compressor and bottle of goo. And I love the RS black wheels on my GTS!

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