Yokohama HPT to Support RX Racing in Portugal
The UK distributor for Yokohama tyres, Yokohama HPT, will be heading south to Portugal next month, as it supports RX Racing when the buggies form part of the first regional final towards this year’s Race of Champions. With the 2009 Race of Champions moving to the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing, home of last year’s Olympics, the organisers of the event have responded to demand from numerous countries to join the Nation’s Cup by creating the first regional final. The event, to be held in the Estadio do Dragao in Porto, the home of FC Porto, will see teams from Portugal, Spain, Italy and Monaco fight for a place in the ROC.
The format for the first final will follow a similar one to the ROC, with teams of drivers from every discipline of motorsport competing on a tarmac course laid out in the stadium. Saturday will see Portuguese drivers going head-to-head for a place alongside local Production car World Rally Championship leader Armindo Araujo to form the four-strong team for Sunday’s competition.
They will face stiff competition. The Spanish team will include former WRC champion Carlos Sainz and current driver Dani Sordo, while Italy’s team will include WRC legend Miki Biasion and Gigi Galli. The team from Monaco includes endurance racing star Emanuelle Pirro and A1GP driver Clivio Piccione.
There will also be a ROC Legends Individual race, featuring winners from both the past and present. These include former Formula One drivers Johnny Herbert and Heinz-Harald Frentzen and triple World Touring Car Championship title-winner, Andy Priaulx.
Drivers will take part in the final in a range of vehicles that have made the Race of Champions a motorsport institution, including the KTM X-Bow, the specially built ROC car and prototypes.
They will also drive the RX Racing RX150 buggies, fitted with Yokohama A021 tyres as standard. The buggies drew universal critical acclaim from drivers at last year’s ROC and the one-make series running as part of the British RallyCross championship has generated exceptional racing action and drama. The series has also attracted several high-profile guest drivers, including Intercontinental Rally Challenge leader, Kris Meeke.
Commenting on the news, Motorsport manager at Yokohama HPT Mark Evans said, “We are very excited about this new innovation by the organisers of the Race of Champions. We realise that the RX Racing buggies were incredibly popular at last year’s event, with not only the drivers but also the fans and it’s a fitting reward to the development of the RX150s that they will be used again in the first of the regional finals.”
The event begins on Saturday 6 June with the competition itself taking place on Sunday 7.