Tiremaker seeks to continue ’09 success with teams in off-road and ALMS, plus expanded “eco-racing’ with orange oil-infused tires in the GT3 Challenge and new GTC series

FULLERTON, CA (Jan. 18, 2010) – In 2009, Yokohama Tire Corporation had many major motorsports successes, including repeat championships in off-road racing’s SCORE and SNORE series, and a season-long, strong run in ALMS. However, Yokohama’s most newsworthy motorsports accomplishment was to shatter the eco-racing barrier by introducing the orange oil -infused ADVAN® ENV-R1™, the first true environmentally-friendly tire used in a racing series.

All that and more will continue in 2010 as Yokohama’s motorsports program shifts into high gear, according to Mark Chung, director, corporate strategy and planning.

“From the historic introduction of our orange oil compound ENV-R1 race tires in the Patrón GT3 Challenge by Yokohama series to the repeat off-road desert series championships for Heidi Steele in SCORE and her husband Cameron Steele in SNORE, 2009 was a banner year,” Chung said. “And we expect even greater success in 2010. For example, we’ll be introducing an even more eco-friendly tire for the Patrón GT3 Challenge by Yokohama at Sebring in March, one that will further reduce the petroleum use in the tire. The orange oil technology in the ENV-R1 reduced petroleum inputs by 15 percent and increased recyclability while performing at the same level as previous compounds. All the Porsche GT3 racers raved about it. The new tire will be even better.”

All told, Yokohama will participate in six race series during 2010, ranging from sports cars to off-road trucks. Series include:

Patrón GT3 Challenge by Yokohama

This is the second year 2010 01 YokohamaGT3 300x147 Yokohama Tire Corporation’s 2010 Motorsports Program Looks Like a WinnerYokohama is sponsoring the seven-race series. A new and improved version of the ENV-R tire will be the series’ spec tire and will be on a fleet of Porsche 911 GT3 race cars at leading U.S. tracks such as Sebring, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Road Atlanta.

Once again, there will be a field of up to 35 cars vying for championships in two divisions: Platinum (for 2010 GT3 Porsches only) and Gold (2005½ – 2009 GT3 Porsches).

The series begins at the 12 Hours of Sebring, March 18-20. For details, visit http://www.imsachallenge.com/ .

2010 Patrón GT3 Challenge by Yokohama Schedule

  • March 18-20: 58th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Sebring International Raceway, Sebring, Florida
  • May 21-23: Monterey Sports Car Championships, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Monterey, California
  • June 26-27: New Jersey Race, New Jersey Motorsports Park, Millville, New Jersey
  • July 9-11: Utah Grand Prix, Miller Motorsports Park, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • August 6-7: Mid Ohio Sports Car Challenge, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio
  • August 20-27: Road Race Showcase, Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
  • September 29-October 2: 13th Annual Petit Le Mans, Road Atlanta, Braselton, Georgia

American Le Mans Series (ALMS)

The big news this season is that Yokohama and RSR are partnering to field a Jaguar XKR GT2 entry, which will run on ADVAN A005® racing slicks. The No. 33 machine will be piloted by Trans-Am racing legend Paul Gentilozzi and sports car veteran Marc Goossens. They’ll be battling against the likes of Ferrari, Porsche, BMW, Corvette, Viper and Ford. Plans are for more Jaguar XKR GT cars to be added to the lineup during the season, as the team is in the process of building additional cars around the strong and rigid Jaguar XKR production vehicle that underpins the XKR GT racer.

The nine-race series begins with the 12 hours of Sebring, March 18-20, and travels to many top courses, including Sebring and Road Atlanta, where Yokohama is the “Official Tire.” For details, visit the ALMS web site at http://www.americanlemans.com/ .

ALMS GT Challenge (GTC) Class

Yokohama’s orange oil-infused race tires will be campaigned in this new class within ALMS. The GTC class provides another rung on the ladder series within ALMS. A field of approximately 10 cars will compete at all ALMS events, including the endurance races such as the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans. More details are at http://www.imsaracing.net/ .

2010 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) Schedule

  • March 18-20: 58th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Sebring International Raceway, Sebring, Florida
  • April 16-17: Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, Long Beach, California
  • May 20-23: American Le Mans Series Monterey presented by Patrón, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Monterey, California
  • July 9-11: Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix, Miller Motorsports Park, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • July 23-24: American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix, Lime Rock Park, Lakeville, Connecticut
  • August 5-7: Mid Ohio Sports Car Challenge, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio
  • August 20-22: Road Race Showcase, Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
  • August 27-29: Mobil 1 Grand Prix of Mosport, Mosport International Raceway, Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
  • September 29-October 2: 13th Annual Petit Le Mans, Road Atlanta, Braselton, Georgia

SCORE International Off Road Racing

Yokohama-sponsored Heidi Steele, the three-time titlist and defending Class 6 SCORE (Southern California Off Road Enthusiasts) champion is back, along with her husband, Trophy Truck class veteran Cameron Steele, a two-time SCORE Person of the Year and TV commentator. Other Yokohama-sponsored drivers competing this season include Justin “Bean” Smith, Brent Parkhouse, Josh Daniel, Adam Ashcraft and Rick St. John.

In 2008, Heidi etched her name in off-road history by being the first woman to win two major truck championships in one season – the Best in the Desert and SCORE. She also was named Dirt Sports magazine’s 2008 Driver of the Year, becoming the first female to win the coveted award. Heidi’s Ford Ranger runs on off-the-shelf Geolandar M/T+® tires.

Cameron’s ride is the No. 16 800-horsepower Geiser Brothers Chevrolet truck, mounted with 37-inch Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S® R tires specially engineered for extreme off-road conditions. At press time, the Steeles were at the first race of the season, the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge. The next race is the San Felipe 250 in Baja Mexico, March 12-14. For details, go to http://www.score-international.com/ .

2010 SCORE Desert Championship Series Schedule

  • January 15-17: 16th SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge, Laughlin, Nevada
  • March 12-14: 24th Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250, San Felipe, Baja, Mexico
  • June 4-6: 42nd Tecate SCORE Baja 500, Ensenada, Baja, Mexico
  • September 10-12: 15th SCORE Terrible’s Primm 300, Primm, Nevada
  • November 17-21: 43rd Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, Ensenada to La Paz – Peninsula Run

SNORE

Two-time Unlimited Truck Class defending series champion Cameron Steele will pilot the 800-horsepower Geiser Brothers Chevrolet truck fitted with specially-engineered 37-inch Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S® R tires at every SNORE (Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts) event during the six-race 2010 season. Also returning is Steele’s Desert Assassins teammate Justin “Bean” Smith (riding on Yokohama Super Diggers). Smith won the Class 12 season title last year.

First race is the Battle at Primm, February 19-21. Details can be found at http://www.snoreracing.net/ .

2010 Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts (SNORE) Schedule

  • February 19-21: Battle at Primm, Primm Nevada
  • March 25-28:General Tire Mint 400, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • May 7-9: Dusty Times 250, Caliente, Nevada
  • July 30-Aug 1: KC HiLiTES Midnight Special, Ridgecrest, California
  • October 29-31: SNORE 250, Primm, Nevada
  • December 10-12: Rage at the River, Laughlin, Nevada

Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series

Yokohama is expanding its off-road activities by being an associate sponsor of the Lucas Oil Series. The eight-race series combines the Midwest tradition of short course off-road racing with a West Coast influence and features seven classes. The season kicks off March 6-7 at the Lake Elsinore Motorsports Complex in Lake Elsinore, California. For more information, visit http://www.lucasoiloffroad.com .

2010 Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series Schedule

  • March 6-7: Lake Elsinore Motorsports Complex, Lake Elsinore, California
  • April 10-11: Speedworld Off-Road Park, Surprise, Arizona
  • May 22-23: Primm Valley Motorsports Complex, Primm, Nevada
  • June 26-27: Miller Motorsports Park, Tooele, Utah
  • August 7-8: Lake Elsinore Motorsports Complex, Lake Elsinore, California
  • September 18-19: Speedworld Off-Road Park, Surprise, Arizona
  • October 23-24: Primm Valley Motorsports Complex, Primm, Nevada
  • December 11-12: Firebird Raceway, Phoenix, Arizona

Celebrating its 40th anniversary in the United States, Yokohama Tire Corporation is the North American manufacturing and marketing arm of Tokyo, Japan-based The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., a global manufacturing and sales company of premium tires since 1917. Servicing a network of more than 4,500 points of sale in the U.S., Yokohama Tire Corporation is a leader in technology and innovation. The company’s complete product line includes the dB Super E-spec™ – the world’s first tire to use orange oil to reduce petroleum – as well as tires for high-performance, light truck, passenger car, commercial truck and bus, and off-the-road mining and construction applications. For more information on Yokohama’s extensive product line, visit www.yokohamatire.com.

Yokohama is a strong supporter of the tire care and safety guidelines established by the Rubber Manufacturers Association and the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration. Details can be found at the “Tire Safety” section at www.yokohamatire.com.

Comments

comments