FULLERTON, CA (March 16, 2009) In 2009, Yokohama Tire Corporation will introduce a motorsports first; the series-wide use of environmentally-friendly orange oil-infused race tires. In addition, defending off-road champions Heidi and Cameron Steele will once again serve as the lead drivers of Yokohama Tire’s desert racing program.
“From the introduction of orange oil compound race tires in the GT3 Challenge to the return of defending SCORE and SNORE champions Heidi and Cameron Steele, 2009 is shaping up to be a historic and exciting year for our race fans,” said Mark Chung, director, corporate strategy and planning. “The orange oil technology is extremely exciting for our race program; reducing petroleum inputs by approximately 10 percent and increasing recyclability while maintaining the high performance levels of previous race slick compounds.”
The company will participate in five race series during 2009, including sports cars, off-road trucks and highly-tuned street vehicles. Series include:
PatrÃ³n GT3 Challenge by Yokohama
The six-race series introduces the ADVAN® ENV-R1, Yokohama’s new orange oil-infused race tire and the series’ spec tire, on a fleet of Porsche 911 GT3 race cars at leading U.S. race tracks. Researched and tested on the track, the orange oil technology will also be available to U.S. consumers in the all-new dB Super E-specTM passenger car tire this summer. The series begins at the 12 Hours of Sebring, March 19-20.
SCORE International Off-Road Racing
Two-time and defending SCORE champion Heidi Steele started the season with first- and third-place finishes in two separate classes at the season-opening Laughlin Desert Challenge in January. Her husband, Cameron Steele, a two-time SCORE Person of the Year and ESPN X-Games commentator, also started the season well with a second-place finish in the high-horsepower Trophy Truck class. Heidi’s Ford Ranger runs on off-the-shelf Geolandar M/T+® tires. Cameron’s 37-inch Geolandar A/T-S® R tires are specially developed for extreme off-road conditions.
American Le Mans Series (ALMS)
Yokohama again joins long-standing partner Team PTG Racing in supplying ADVAN A005® racing slicks for their Panoz Esperante GTLM GT2 class entrant. Full-year driving duties go to Dominik Farnbacher, who shared second place in last year’s GT2 driver’s championship with four class wins. The 10-race series begins with the 12 hours of Sebring, March 18-21, and travels to many top courses, including Sebring and Road Atlanta, where Yokohama is the “Official Tire.”
Returning series champion Cameron Steele will pilot his 800-horsepower Unlimited Truck at every race of the 2009 season. Steele has already won the first race at Primm, Nevada on February 15 on Geolandar A/T-S® R tires. The next race is the famous Mint 400 in Las Vegas, March 26-29.
Redline Time Attack Racing
Yokohama is the Associate Tire Sponsor of the Redline Time Attack series. In 2008, the ultra-high performance ADVAN Neova® AD07 collected the overall street class championship and Yokohama is expecting the all-new ADVAN Neova AD08 to repeat the performance this season. In addition, the venerable ADVAN A005 racing slick will be highlighted on Factor X Racing’s Acura NSX entry, when the series begins March 28th at Buttonwillow Raceway.
Yokohama Tire Corporation is the North American manufacturing and marketing arm of Tokyo, Japan-based The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., a global producer and distributor of premium tires since 1917. Servicing a network of more than 4,500 points of sale in the U.S., Yokohama Tire Corporation offers a complete line of tires, including high-performance, light truck, passenger car, commercial truck and bus, as well as 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 “Taking Care of Your Tires” section at www.yokohamatire.com.