Yokohama Rubber Outlines 2010 Motorsport Activities
Motorsport participation is a stated component of Yokohama Rubber’s strategy for the global development of its flagship ‘Advan’ tyre brand. On March 5 the company announced its Motor Sports Activity Plan for 2010, in which it outlines its continued active support of motor racing in Japan and many other countries. Below are the highlights of the activity plan:
FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC)
In 2005, the WTCC joined the F1 and WRC as the third FIA world championship. Yokohama Rubber has supplied Advan racing tyres to the race as its one-make supplier since 2006 and is confirmed as supplier through to 2012. Beginning this year, the Japanese tyre maker will supply all 35 teams with eco-racing tyres it says will provide excellent grip and better environmental performance in both dry and wet conditions. The tyres will be used in a total of 24 races, including the 12 rounds that began in Brazil on March 7 and will finish up in Macau. The company also plans to supply WTCC spec tyres to the “European Touring Car Championship” (ETCC) and to touring car races in Sweden, Denmark, Russia and other countries.
International F3 Macau Grand Prix (China)
Yokohama Rubber is the one-make supplier of tyres to the WTCC’s final event, the Macau F3 Grand Prix, now in its 28th year. In addition to the F3 Grand Prix and WTCC, Yokohama says its Advan racing tyres enjoy a greater than 50 per cent share in the support races for the Grand Prix.
China Circuit Championship (touring car race) and China Rally Championship
From this year through to 2012, Yokohama Rubber is the one-make supplier to the China Circuit Championship and will be supplying Super 2000 class and Super 1600 class Advan racing tyres. For the China Rally Championship, the company will supply “Advan A053” and “Advan A006T” tyres, originally developed in the “FIA Production Car World Rally Championship” (PCWRC) for six cars driven by the “Subaru Rally Team China” and “Honghe” teams. Both are scheduled for a May launch in international markets.
Le mans 24 Hours
The tyre maker is supporting “Jaguar RSR,” during the Le Mans 24 Hours. As it celebrates its 75 year, Jaguar is returning to Le Mans and entering the “XKR GT2” in the LM-GT2 class.
Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC)
Yokohama Rubber operates a partnership with the “Cusco World Rally Team,” which is racing in this championship for the fifth time. Out of six events, the team plans to compete in all but the fifth (New Caledonia).
In the GT500, Yokohama is supporting “Kondo Racing,” which has used Advan racing tyres to achieve a string of wins in 2007, 2008 (Sepang, Malaysia) and the opener in 2009. In the GT300 class, the company will supply Advan racing tyres to approximately 60 per cent of the teams, including the 2009 series champion, “Racing Project Bandoh.”
All Japan Rally Championship
The tyre maker will continue its partnership with the 2009 series champion, “Advan-PIAA Rally Team.” The team will seek another victory this year in its Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X decorated with the red and black Advan colours.
Super Taikyu Series
This is the only full-fledged endurance race in Japan, and in 2009 cars equipped with Advan racing tyres won championships in all classes. This year, the series will be introducing an “official tyre,” and Yokohama Rubber states its pleasure that due to their strong track record Advan racing tyres have been selected for the job in the first year. The company will supply eco-racing tyres designed specifically for super endurance racing. These tyres, Yokohama notes, offer improved environmental performance and, thanks to the use of “orange oil,” excellent grip.
Yokohama Rubber will also support a number of other categories, including the “All Japan Gymkhana Championship” and “All Japan Dirt Trial”. It will also supply its Advan racing tyres to the following one-make tyre categories: Porsche GT3 One-Make Race (the United States, Brazil); Seat Leon One-Make Race (Spain, Germany); German F3; Civic One-Make Race (Japan); Corolla Axio GT One-Make Race (Japan). Furthermore, Yokohama says it is also supporting many entry categories during the year, such as the three-year supply contract for Super FJ that begins in 2010.