Wednesday 11 April 2012

Yokohama ready to roll this weekend.

Okay Overdrivers... Count how many times the word "Yokohama" is used in this release.
Black Round Rubber Things.... Made by Yokohama
This weekend sees a busy few days for Yokohama HPT Ltd, the UK distributor for the Japanese brand of high performance and motorsport tyres. Not only does the 2012 Formula Two season, using Yokohama control tyres, begin at Silverstone, the series is also supported by several other race series adopting Yokohama tyres exclusively. And in Ireland, the first round of the Irish Touring Car Championship also takes place, another series running on Yokohama.

Following a successful test period, the new-for-2012 Formula Two car looks to guarantee even more exciting action than in previous years, as drivers vie for success in the most cost-effective route to GP2 and Formula One. The slicks-and-wings series makes its 2012 debut at Silverstone, home of the British Grand Prix and features two races over the weekend of 14/15 April, one on Saturday and one on Sunday, each with its own qualifying session.

While winter testing has shown that the new cars, featuring Yokohama tyres and carbon brakes, are around two seconds per lap faster than their 2011 equivalents, the big talking point for tyres will be the weather; the UK recently basked in warm, early spring conditions but these gave way to cool and overcast weather and in some places, snow! An early long-range forecast suggests the possibility of showers around race weekend, which could well mix up the racing and the pre-season form showed by the drivers.

Commenting, Head of Motorsport for Yokohama HPT Mark Evans said: "The weather is likely to be one of the biggest factors this weekend at Silverstone. There was some wet weather running for the new tyres on the F2 car at Barcelona, as one of the pre-season tests saw wet weather. And while the ambient temperature was higher than we are likely to see in the UK over the next few days, the performance of the wet tyres was extremely encouraging."

The F2 field won't be the only cars running on Yokohama tyres: two of the Lotus On Track race series, the Lotus Elise Trophy and the Lotus Cup UK, both using Yokohama control tyres, will also be running over the weekend, with the Lotus Elise Trophy racing twice on Saturday and the Lotus Cup UK, twice on Sunday.

In addition, the Sports 2000 series will also be on the bill, again using Yokohama tyres and qualifying on Saturday and racing on Sunday. Having successfully switched from crossply to radial dry tyres last year, this season, and quite possibly this weekend, will see the debut for the Yokohama control wet radial tyres.

While Silverstone will be ringing to the sound of single-seaters, touring cars will be in action in Ireland, for the first round of the Irish Touring Car Championship, partnered by, and running on, Yokohama.

The two-class series features Touring and SuperTouring cars and the 2012 season will begin at the world famous Mondello Park circuit in County Kildare.

Not only will it feature the closest touring car action in Ireland as drivers battle for trophies and cash prizes, the leading driver in each of the two categories by the end of the third round of the series will win a VIP trip to the 11th/12th round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship, using Yokohama control tyres, at the Circuito do Estoril in Portugal.

Commenting, Evans said; "It's going to be a very busy weekend for us, with no less than five motorsport series beginning over the same weekend. Of course, we are very excited about the first round of the Formula Two championship - the Yokohama engineers have worked very hard on the new tyre and the early indications are that it works very well, so we are keen to see that transfer to actual competition.

"It's also fantastic to see the Lotus On Track race series on the same bill as a championship with such a high profile as F2. We have been partnering with both the Sports 2000 and the Lotus series' for a number of years and they always deliver exceptional racing action.

"The Irish Touring Car Championship is also looking like it's going to be a huge success. Our Irish distributor, Murray Motorsport, has been heavily involved in the run-up and I understand that the first round is likely to feature a full grid, which is fantastic."

Other tyre brands are available.

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