First Student Team in History of Le Mans to fit Yokohama Tyres
The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd. has announced that it will support the first student team in history to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. Yokohama will supply Advan race tyres to Tokai University’s “Le Mans Challenge Project” in the 76th 24 Hours of Le Mans, which will be held over the weekend of 14-15 June at the Sarthe Circuit in France. Yokohama has a long track record at Le Mans, stretching back more than 20 years.
Yokohama is also involved in supporting another student motorsport project: the OSU Dakar Rally Challenge Project, led by Osaka Sangyo University. This project aims to tackle environmental problems through motorsport and features Ukyo Katayama as a driver.
Under the direction of Prof. Yoshimasa Hayashi, who participated in endurance races in Japan and overseas during his time at Nissan Motor, the engine and machine research and development in the Tokai University Le Mans Challenge Project has been entirely student-led over 7 years from 2001. Although it is a student team, it has created a machine comprising a modified French Courage-Oreca car, which has previously taken part in 24 Hours of Le Mans, incorporating an originally developed 4-litre V8 twin-turbo engine. In addition, the three drivers – Toshio Suzuki, Masami Kageyama, and Haruki Kurosawa – have extensive experience of competing in this race, and aim to stay the course with a full-fledged team structure.