Hiratsuka, Japan—The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., announced today that it will be supplying its global flagship ADVAN brand tires and wheels to the 2022 FIA World Rally Championship (hereafter, WRC) winner Kalle Rovanperä in Round 6 of FORMULA DRIFT® JAPAN (hereafter, FDJ), to be held on October 7 and 8 on the Okayama International Circuit in Okayama Prefecture. Following Round 2 in April this year, in which Rovanperä finished first, this is the second time that Yokohama Rubber will be providing support. Rovanperä will participate again in the Red Bull GR COROLLA from KR69 CUSCO Racing. As part of this year’s ADVAN CHALLENGE, which seeks to maximize sales of ADVAN tires during the brand’s 45th year, Yokohama Rubber is strengthening recognition of the ADVAN brand as a tire with superior performance through motorsports.
Kalle Rovanperä is a rally driver from Finland. He began full participation in WRC in 2020. After finishing the 2021 season with two victories and an overall fourth place driver’s ranking, in 2022, he became the youngest WRC champion at the age of 22. In 2023, he has continued his steady rise, taking the sole lead as of the end of Round 9. Having mastered drifting techniques by the age of eight, Rovanperä has deep knowledge of drift competition and has participated in the Drift Masters European Championship series. Round 2 was his first FDJ race. He passed the qualifying race in first place and won the final race in a commanding display of skill.
As with Round 2, Yokohama Rubber will be supplying Rovanperä with the ADVAN NEOVA AD09, YOKOHAMA’s strongest street sports tires, which have a well-balanced combination of enhanced levels of dry grip, controllability, and wear resistance. The tires will come fitted with ADVAN Racing GT BEYOND aluminum sports wheels. Yokohama Rubber expects its support for Kalle Rovanperä, who is attracting global attention as a phenomenal young driver competing in drifting competitions that require the most advanced techniques, to help raise recognition of the ADVAN brand as a tire with superior performance.
FDJ is an international version of the FORMULA DRIFT® series held in the United States. FDJ, held since 2014, essentially is a reverse import from the US FORMULA DRIFT®, which has elevated the popularity of drift driving, a motorsport that originated in Japan.
Under Yokohama Rubber’s three-year (2021–2023) medium-term management plan, Yokohama Transformation 2023 (YX2023), the consumer tire business aims to maximize the sales ratios of high-value-added YOKOHAMA tires, namely the global flagship ADVAN brand, the GEOLANDAR brand of tires for SUVs and pickup trucks, and various winter tires.YX2023 also positions participation in motorsports activities as crucial to the company’s effort to develop new tire technologies that will further strengthen the ADVAN and GEOLANDAR brands. Yokohama Rubber therefore is again participating in a wide variety of motorsports events in Japan and around the globe, from top-category to grassroots events.