Automotive Performance Brands - Ready to Race: Yokohama Tire's 2012 Motorsports Program Revs Up
FULLERTON, Feb. 29, 2012: “Let the racing begin!” That’s the word from Andrew Briggs, Yokohama Tire Corporation’s (YTC) director of product planning and motorsports, as the Fullerton, California-based tire maker prepares for the 2012 racing season. Leading the strong line-up will be Yokohama’s campaign in the ALMS GT series featuring a new partnership with Alex Job Racing competing on a Lotus Evora. Yokohama will also once again continue to run in the GTC Class of the ALMS and in the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama with its eco racing slick – the ENV-R2 – as the series’ spec tire. Plus, Yokohama-sponsored teams will compete in off-road racing’s SCORE and Lucas Oil series – where they won championships in 2011.
“We have a new partner in ALMS and have titles to defend in off-road,” said Briggs, “so we are really anxious for this season to get underway.”
Yokohama will participate in four race series during 2012, ranging from sports cars to off-road trucks. Series include:
American Le Mans Series (ALMS) and GT Challenge (GTC) Class This season, Yokohama will partner with Alex Job Racing and supply tires for team Lotus-AJR in the highly competitive ALMS GT Class. The Lotus Evora-based GT entry will ride on ADVAN® A005 development tires.
While the 10-race series begins with the 12 hours of Sebring on March 17, the Lotus-AJR team will make its debut on the streets of Long Beach at the Long Beach Grand Prix on April 14. The ALMS season will conclude with the Petit Le Mans 10-hour event at Road Atlanta, where Yokohama is the “Official Tire.” For details, visit www.yokohamatire.com/motorsports or the ALMS web site at http://www.americanlemans.com/.
The orange oil-infused ENV-R2 race tires will again be campaigned in the ALMS GTC Class. A field of approximately 10 cars will compete at all ALMS events, including endurance races, such as the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans. More details can be found at www.yokohamatire.com/motorsports or http://www.americanlemans.com/primary1.php?cat=schedule|calendar.
2012 ALMS Schedule and GT Challenge Schedule
March 14-17: 60th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring; Sebring International Raceway; Sebring, Florida April 13-14: Tequila Patron American Le Mans Series at Long Beach; Long Beach, California May 10-12: American Le Mans Series Monterey; Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca; Monterey, California July 6-7: American Le Mans Series Northeast Grand Prix; Lime Rock Park; Lakeview, Connecticut July 20-22: Grand Prix of Mosport; Mosport International Raceway; Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada August 2-4: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge; Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course; Lexington, Ohio August 16-18: Road Race Showcase; Road America; Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin August 31-September 1: Baltimore Grand Prix; Baltimore, Maryland September 13-15: American Le Mans Series at VIR; Virginia International Raceway; Danville, Virginia October 17-20: 15th Annual Petit Le Mans; Road Atlanta; Braselton, Georgia
IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama Yokohama’s ENV-R2, the first – and only – environmentally-friendly tire used in a racing series, will campaign in the 15-race series (at eight venues), which YTC is sponsoring for the fourth consecutive year. As the series’ spec tire, the ENV-R2 will be featured on all the Porsche 911 GT3 race cars, which will compete at leading North American tracks such as Sebring, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Road Atlanta.
“The ENV-R2, which reduces petroleum inputs while performing at the same level as previous compounds, is one of our biggest successes,” said Briggs. “It has surpassed all driver expectations from a performance standpoint. We expect fields of more than 30 cars vying for championships in two divisions, all on ENV-R2 tires.”
The series begins at Sebring, March 14-17. For details, visit http://www.imsachallenge.com/.
2012 IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama Schedule
March 14-17: Sebring International Raceway; Sebring, Florida April 28-29: Miller Motorsports Park; Tooele, Utah May 10-12: Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca; Monterey, California June 8-10: Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on the Īle de Notre-Dame; Montreal, Quebec, Canada July 20-22: Mosport International Raceway; Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada August 16-18: Road America; Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin September 13-15: Virginia International Raceway, Danville, Virginia October 17-20: Road Atlanta; Braselton, Georgia
SCORE International Off-Road Racing
Yokohama is coming off a championship season with the Desert Assassins’ Heidi Steele, who captured the Class 6 title in 2011 – her fourth SCORE (Southern California Off Road Enthusiasts) class title. Heidi will miss part of the season as she awaits the birth of her first child, but plans to return in June for the Baja 500, according to husband Cameron Steele, a Trophy Truck class veteran and TV commentator. Desert Assassins’ teammate Rene Brugger will race Heidi’s Ford Ranger, which runs on off-the-shelf Geolandar M/T+® tires. Brugger finished third twice in the two 2012 SCORE season-opening races in Laughlin, Nevada.
Cameron Steele, the San Clemente, California-based off-roader and two-time SCORE Person of the Year, is campaigning two Geiser Brothers Trophy Trucks in 2012. Both ride on newly developed 40-inch Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S® R tires specially engineered for extreme off-road conditions. “They are a dream to race on,” said Cameron.
The next race is the San Felipe 250, San Felipe, Baja, Mexico, March 9-10. For details, go to http://www.score-international.com/.
Remaining 2012 SCORE Desert Championship Series Schedule March 9-11: 26th MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250, San Felipe, Baja, Mexico June 1-3: 44th Tecate SCORE Baja 500; Ensenada, Baja, Mexico November 14-17: 45th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000; Ensenada, Baja, Mexico
Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series
It’ll be hard to top last season, when YTC-sponsored driver Chad George piloted the Funco Motorsports #42 Kawasaki/Yokohama Super Lite – outfitted with off-the-shelf Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S+® tires – to a Lucas Oil title.
George is back with Yokohama on A/T-S tires for 2012, moving up to the Pro Lite division in the eight-event series that combines the Midwest tradition of short course off-road racing with a West Coast influence.
The season kicks off March 31-April 1 at Firebird Raceway in Chandler, Arizona. For more information, visit http://www.lucasoiloffroad.com.
2012 Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series Schedule March 31-April 1, Firebird Raceway; Chandler, Arizona April 21-22, Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park; Lake Elsinore, California May 19-20, Speedworld Off-Road Park; Surprise, Arizona June 23-24, Miller Motorsports Park; Tooele, Utah August 4-5, Glen Helen Raceway; San Bernardino, California September 1-2, TBD; Reno, Nevada November 22-23, Las Vegas Motor Speedway; Las Vegas, Nevada October 27, Firebird Raceway; Chandler, Arizona October 28, Lucas Oil Off-Road Challenge Cup; Firebird Raceway; Chandler, Arizona