Yokohama Ready for New Tracks
The FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC)’s return to the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, this weekend, sees Yokohama face the first of two unknown circuits, taking on the challenge of these new tracks. Whilst most circuits included in the Japanese tyre manufacturer’s racing programme are known quantities, the addition of Imola and Okayama to this year’s WTCC calendar provides the Yokohama engineers with a slight change in preparation.“For Imola, our pre-season work included visiting the track and collating as much data as possible, from its actual dimensions to the level of grip given out by the asphalt,” explains Yokohama Technical Consultant Ian Beveridge. “We then researched what the conditions are likely to be and found comparative tracks to give us some reference points.“Although Okayama is a new track for the WTCC, we already have plenty of data from our Japanese colleagues. From experience, Japanese tracks tend to be easier to race on than European circuits. “The material used to make the asphalt is a lot finer and bound more closely together, which makes for a very smooth track. The closest we have seen in Europe so far is the Automotodrom Brno in the Czech Republic, after it was resurfaced for this year’s races where the ADVANs performed very well.”Racing resumes this weekend for Yokohama’s WTCC and Formula Master programmes, with both formulae racing at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 September 2008.