Tokyo—The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., today announced its plans for supporting motor sports events in 2017. Yokohama Rubber's support for motor sports events worldwide contributes to the globalization of the Company's tire business and greater recognition of the YOKOHAMA brand. It also promotes the growth, development and revitalization of the motor sports market and the automobile industry as a whole. YOKOHAMA looks forward to participating in many events this year. A brief summary of the main events follows.
YOKOHAMA has been the FIA WTCC’s official tire supplier since 2006. Since 2010, we have supplied the WTCC with our YOKOHAMA ADVAN racing tires, which use our proprietary orange oil compounding technology to enhance environmental performance while maintaining superior grip performance. YOKOHAMA is excited to be supplying the control tires for the WTCC for the 12th consecutive year in 2017. The control tire size will be 250/660R18. The WTCC series is a truly global competition, with this year’s 10 rounds being held in Europe, Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East. Drivers will start their engines first in Morocco. The Japan Round is scheduled for October at the Twin Ring Motegi track.
YOKOHAMA’s ADVAN racing tires will be the control tires for the Japanese SUPER FORMULA Championship, Asia’s ultimate Formula racing series, for a second straight season in 2017. The control tires will again be the ADVAN A005 for use on dry tracks and the ADVAN A006 for wet tracks. Both tires use YOKOHAMA’s proprietary orange oil compounding technique to ensure superior grip performance while enhancing environmental performance. The supplied tire sizes will be 250/620R13 for front tires and 360/620R13 for rear tires.
A Japanese SUPER FORMULA Championship Series (2016)
Our ADVAN racing tires also will again be the control tire for the Japanese Formula 3 Championship races, continuing the track record begun in 2011. Our support for the series, which has the longest history among motor races in Japan will include two tires—the ADVAN A005 for use on dry tracks and the ADVAN A006 for wet tracks. The supplied tire sizes will be 200/50VR13 for front tires and 240/45VR13 for rear tires.
Japanese Formula 3 Championship race (2016)
Japan’s Super-FJ Formula racing series is a domestic regional championship established by the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF). The Super-FJ includes several multi-race regional series held at the seven major circuits in Japan, from Tohoku to Kyushu. This year marks the eighth consecutive year since 2010 that Yokohama Rubber is supporting the Super-FJ by supplying our ADVAN racing tires. We remain committed to supporting the full gamut of formula-car racing in Japan, from entry-level races to the top-level races.
Super GT races are contested in two classes, GT500 and GT300. GT500 is dominated by works teams from major automakers while GT300 teams tend to be more varied and individualistic. GT500 machine specifications are being brought in line with the regulations of the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM, German Touring Car Masters) series that began in 2014, and all racing teams are introducing machines that meet the new regulations, including reduced downforce. GT300 races feature competition by a variety of cars made in Japan and overseas. The machines can broadly be divided into three types: automakers’ production cars that meet the international FIA GT3 specifications, unique JAF-GT machines, and the so-called “Mother Chassis” group of machines.
During the 2016 season, KONDO RACING’s Forum Engineering ADVAN GT-R won two GT500 class races and LEXUS TEAM WedsSport BANDOH’s WedsSport ADVAN RC F captured one. The three combined victories on our ADVAN tires made Yokohama Rubber one of the two winningest tire makers in the series. In 2017, we will continue to support these two teams while also supplying tires for TEAM MUGEN’s MUGEN NSX-GT machine. In the GT300 class, VivaC team TSUCHIYA captured the series championship with its VivaC 86 MC machine running on ADVAN tires.
In 2017 we are supplying YOKOHAMA tires to more than 20 cars competing in the GT300 and we aim to capture the series championship for a second straight year.
The 2017 Super GT series will again consist of eight races, including one race outside Japan in Thailand, all are expected to draw huge crowds of racing fans.
KONDO RACING’s Forum Engineering ADVAN GT-R Winner of Round 3 and 4 of GT500 (2016)
LEXUS TEAM WedsSport BANDOH’s WedsSport ADVAN RC F Winner of Round 7 of GT500 (2016)
VivaC team TSUCHIYA's VivaC 86 MC Series champion of the GT300 (2016)
Japan’s Super Taikyu Series is expanding to eight classes in 2017. In addition to the ST-X class and the ST-1 through ST-5 classes from past years, the endurance racing series is adding the ST-R class that will feature TCR-standard touring cars and the ST-Z class for FIA GT4 machines. The Super Taikyu series features competition among a variety of machines, from FIA GT3 machines to compact cars. Each machine has a team of three or four drivers engaged in a fierce competition with other teams’ drivers. The keys to success are speedy pit stops and skillful tactical maneuvering as the race develops. The series became a one-make control tire competition in 2010, and Yokohama Rubber has been the official supplier of the races’ tires ever since, entering its eighth straight year in 2017. We will again supply the ADVAN A005 for use on dry surfaces and the ADVAN A006 for wet courses, both in a wide variety of sizes, from 15- to 19-inches, to meet the needs of the diverse range of competing machines.
This race series has two components: the Professional Series open to all-comers and the Clubman Series, which is not open to drivers that have already achieved a measure of success. Pro drivers therefore inevitably enter the Professional Series, while amateur drivers can enter either series, enabling them to hone their skills by competing against pros. The 2017 series will comprise nine regular rounds and one special round, for a total of 10 races run on the major circuits in Japan. Professional Series participants will vie for the series title based on total effective points earned over seven races, while the Clubman Series title will be based on effective points accumulated over five races.
The series is an unusual competition between two car models—the TOYOTA 86 and the SUBARU BRZ. Professional Series’ races are limited to machines that have undergone minor changes, while Clubman races feature retooled and non-retooled machines. However, performance adjustments are made according to the vehicle’s minimum weight. The races do not have an official control tire, but Yokohama Rubber aims to again be tire supplier of the series champions, providing our ADVAN A08B to machines in the Professional Series and the ADVAN A052 to Clubman Series competitors.
In addition to the races noted above, YOKOHAMA will provide its ADVAN racing tires to participants in a number of other GT and touring car races held around the world, including the FIA European Touring Car Cup, the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA and the Porsche ULTRA 94 GT3 Cup Challenge Canada, and the Inter Proto Series in Japan.
The Japanese Rally Championship will again include nine races. Yokohama Rubber will provide teams with a range of tires appropriate to the course conditions of each race, centering on ADVAN A052 for races run on tarmac-paved roads and ADVAN A053 for gravel.
In 2016, the JN5 and JN2 class champion driver and navigator (co-pilot) and the JN1 class champion navigator all competed in machines running on YOKOHAMA tires. In 2017, we hope to see drivers running on YOKOHAMA tires capture the championship trophies in many classes, including the series’ ultimate JN6 class, where we will again be supporting the Fumio Nutahara/Tadayoshi Sato and Toshihiro Arai/Naoya Tanaka driver teams.
Fumio Nutahara/Tadayoshi Sato’s ADVAN PIAA LANCER (2016)
YH Cusco Rally+ 208 R2 Series champion of 2016 JN6 class (2016)
YOKOHAMA will support drivers seeking the championship in all classes of this competition by supplying the high-performance “ADVAN A050”, “ADVAN NEOVA AD08R” and ”ADVAN A052.”
YOKOHAMA looks forward to supporting a number of championship cars with its lineup of ADVAN rally tires featuring tires suitable to a wide range of road conditions, including “ADVAN A031” for use on soft road surfaces, the “ADVAN A036” for harder surfaces, and the “ADVAN A053” as standard gravel tire.
Yokohama Rubber has developed its GEOLANDAR brand specifically for SUVs and uses these tires to support off-road races held overseas, including desert races in North America region and Asia Cross Country Rally.
Japan’s premier kart racing series, the All Japan Kart Championship, has revised the engine specifications for its highest class race, which will be called the “OK class” from 2017. Yokohama Rubber will support racers in this category, which replaces the KF class in which we were active in 2016. In 2016, karts running on YOKOHAMA tires came in second in the 7th and 8th races of the season, and we will be shooting for the winner’s podium in 2017. In addition, YOKOHAMA will again support the FP-Junior Cadets category of the Japanese Junior Karting Championship by providing the control tires, as we had until 2013.
Overseas, we will again be supplying the control tire for the Asian Karting Open Championship as well as supplying YOKOHAMA tires to circuit races in the Philippines, Thailand and other Asian countries.
KF category of All Japan Karting Championship race (2016) *Category name will be changed to OK from 2017
As in previous years, Yokohama Rubber will be an enthusiastic supporter of racing teams competing in events across all motor sports categories and in countries around the world. The data gathered from the use of the Company’s tires under the demanding conditions of motor sports will contribute to the development of tires for everyday drivers around the world. News updates and results of many of the races noted above will be posted on YOKOHAMA’s motor sports web site (http://www.y-yokohama.com/cp/global/motorsports/) as well on the Company’s official Facebook site (https://www.facebook.com/YokohamaRubber), its official Twitter site (https://twitter.com/YRC_Global), and the Yokohama Rubber Channel on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com
This year, Yokohama Rubber is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its founding back in 1917. We have produced a commemorative 100th anniversary logomark and a special sticker for use on the machines we support in racing competitions around the world. The 100th anniversary logomark features the “five red lines” that have become identified with the YOKOHAMA brand in a sweeping motif that expresses the Company’s fervor to work energetically toward a future beyond its 100th year. The interlinked zeros in the number 100 reflect Yokohama Rubber’s intention to work together with business partners, shareholders, and other stakeholders to ensure the Company continues to be a tire and rubber products manufacturer that meets customer needs over the next 100 years.