2009 African Challenge for Yokohama

 As Yokohama prepares for Portugal’s hot climate in Estoril for rounds 11 and 12 of the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) this weekend, an even hotter challenge lies ahead for the Japanese manufacturer. Next May will see the ADVAN tyre supplier race in Africa for the first time with the WTCC. The championship has now confirmed an addition to their 2009 calendar in the shape of a street racing event in Marrakech, Morocco. “The WTCC is moving forward each year and it is a pleasure to be involved in their journey,” said Matthijs Mathlener, Yokohama’s Motorsports Manager Europe. “2008 saw the championship expand to Japan, which was a great development for us. Next year’s African destination is extremely interesting too. “From a racing point of view, a street circuit in an extremely hot country such as Morocco will be a great challenge, whilst entering the African market as a manufacturer is appealing too. In the meantime, we have Estoril this weekend, which should prove to be a very exciting race!” This is the first time that the Yokohama ADVAN-shod WTCC cars will race at the 4.140 km Circuito do Estoril, although a test earlier in the year ensured teams, drivers and tyres will all be ready for Sunday’s two races. As the championship reaches halfway-point, SEAT driver Gabriele Tarquini is currently leading the Drivers’ Classification with 58 points, 15 more than team-mate Yvan Muller. Ranked in fourth place, BMW’s Andy Priaulx is the only non-SEAT challenger to feature in the top five and currently holds 34 points. Estoril track facts   Length of circuit 4.140 km Number of corners 14 Distance:turn ranking (1-10)* 5.63 (fifth most demanding 2008 WTCC track) Highest lateral G / length of corner 4.183 km x 12 = 50.196 km Race distance 53.820 km (13 laps x 4.140 km) Average speed of 2003 winner Tarquini, 136.52 kph (weather/track: sun/dry)

* Where 10 is the 2008 WTCC circuit with the most turns/KMEurosport coverage  Qualifying Race One Race Two WTCC Saturday 12 July16:00 CET LiveEurosport Int. & Asia Pacific Sunday 13 July14:00 CET LiveEurosport Int. & Asia Pacific Sunday 13 July17:30 CET LiveEurosport Int. & Asia Pacific F.Master n/a Saturday 12 July13:00 CET LiveEurosport Int. and Asia Pacific Sunday 13 July16:30 CET LiveEurosport 2 & Asia Pacific