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Yokohama launch Motorsports programme ...
|02.2006 Yokohama launch Motorsports programme in Japan
On 8 February 2006 more than 100 journalists attended the press conference organised by Yokohama in Tokyo to launch their 2006 motor sport programmes.
Special emphasis was given to the company’s involvment – through the brand Advan – in the FIA World Touring Car Championship.
“Until 2005 we have used the Advan brand for our domestic motor sport programmes. But from now on Advan wil be Yokohama’s symbol brand worldwide for both international motor sport and road cars in a long term plan. And our new partership with the FIA WTCC is the ideal platform for this strategy,” Mr Takashi Sugimoto, Managing Director of the Yokohama Rubber Co. explained to the attendance.
Jacques Behar, Chairman of championship promoter KSO, declared: “We are honoured to welcome Yokohama as our new partner and we thank Mr Sugimoto for this opportunity of presenting the FIA WTCC to the Japanese media. I want to affirm today, that it is our wish to organise an FIA WTCC event in Japan in the near future.”
ADVAN 2006 Motor Sports
Seeing motor sports as part of global development of its new global flagship brand "ADVAN," YokohamaRubber Co. Ltd will support a number of different racing categories in Japan and worldwide.
Major activities will be as follows:
2006 FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC)
As the designated one-make tire supplier, Yokohama Rubber will support all teams and drivers in the WTCC, which became the third FIA world championship in 2005, after joining F1 and WRC. To do this, Yokohama] Rubber successfully developed tires with the same specifications for FF and FR cars, allowing them to perform to their maximum abilities in fair competition. The WTCC, contested primarily by European car manufacturers, is well known for its high levels of competition in exciting sprint races. Two races are staged per circuit (about 30 minutes each). The second race begins from a "greverse-grid": Cars finishing first through eighth in the first race are positioned in reverse order, adding an additional element of suspense. Last year in Macau, racing on city streets was added, also upping the level of excitement. Beginning in Monza on April 2, the 2006 WTCC will feature twenty races on ten circuits, culminating again in Macau.
2006 FIA Production Car World Rally Championship (P-WRC)
This year - its third year of participation - Yokohama Rubber will partner again with the ADVAN-PIAA RALLY TEAM. The team’s cars are the Lancer Evolution wearing the "Red in Black" ADVAN colors. This season’s first race has already taken place in Monte Carlo, and, with an impressive win in that traditional event, the team is off to a good start. In 2006, the Lancer Evolution in ADVAN colors driven by Fumio Nutahara is aiming for championships in two series, the P-WRC and the All Japan Rally Championship, the top rally championship in Japan. Nutahara has won the All Japan Rally Championship series four years in row.
Le Mans 24 Hours
Having been part of this race for 23 years in row, Yokohama Rubber will again participate in the LMP1 class, the top category, partnering, as last year, with the distinguished French racing team "Courage Competition." For this year, Yokohama Rubber has produced tires matched to a new model developed by Courage Competition, aiming for an overall victory. It will also take part the Le Mans Series 2006 - five races staged throughout Europe - in partnership with Courage Competition.
American Le Mans Series
Yokohama Rubber has a new partner in TEAM PTG (Prototype Technology Group), replacing the team that triumphed in the LMGT 2 class at Le Mans 24 Hours last year. Supported by BMW North America, TEAM PTG has already recorded one overall victory in Le Mans 24 Hours. This year, the team will use two BMW M3’s painted in the ADVAN colors, further boosting the image of Yokohama Rubber’s high-performance tires in the American market. A total of ten races in the American Le Mans Series will start in March at Sebring.
China Rally Championship/China Touring Car Championship
In the two most popular racing categories in China, where people are increasingly interested in motor sports, users of Yokohama Rubber’s tires won series championships in most classes last year. Not only will Yokohama Rubber continue its partnership with the Shanghai Volkswagen 333 Team - the strongest and most popular team in China - it will join forces with other leading teams as well, aiming at series championships in all classes in which it participates.
SUPER GT 2006 SERIES
Yokohama Rubber will continue its partnership with Toyota Team Tsuchiya, which gained a valuable win in the first race held last year. Partnering also with KONDO Racing running a Nissan Fairlady Z, Yokohama Rubber will participate in the GT500 class in competition with multiple tire suppliers. The company will thus participate with two cars this year - one Toyota and one Nissan - each with the best tires for its own performance characteristics, developed in their competitive pursuit of higher rankings. In the GT300 class, Yokohama Rubber will, this year, too, supply racing tires to a number of teams.
Other Races to Support
• The Super Taikyu Race: Series victories in four out of five classes last year.
• All Japan Gymkhana Championship: Series victories in five out of nine classes last year.
• All Japan Rally Championship: Series victories in two out of six classes last year.
• All Japan Dirt Trial: Series victory in the N3 class, the hottest race, last year.
Yokohama One-Make Tire Categories
As a reliable supplier of high-performance tires, Yokohama Rubber will support the following races:
• Macau Grand Prix F3 (China): Has provided tires 23 years in row. This year two main races at Macau - the "F3 Grand Prix" and "WTCC final race" - will be staged as one-make races using Yokohama Rubber’s tires.
• Formula Atlantic (U.S.A.): Has provided tires 18 years in row.
• FIM Sidecar World Championship
• Asian F3 Championship
• Formula 4, Racing Carts, etc. - introductory categories in the world of motor sports
Yokohama Rubber will support teams using its tires to achieve the best possible performance, and will use the data and experience it gains through such supporting activities in its development of commercial tires.