Young British rally driver Tristan Pye has clinched his second BTRDA Production Cup title in a row, using the latest specification of rally tyres from Yokohama. Pye, who took last year’s Production Cup and finished third overall in the championship, cites the new gravel rally tyres and the support from UK distributor Yokohama HPT as crucial to his success.
Pye took his second consecutive title despite missing two of this year’s nine rounds due to work commitments. He took the class win on four of the eight events already run to notch up an unassailable lead with one round of the series remaining.
This year, his Subaru Impreza N11, in Group N or showroom specification, was fitted with the development tyres debuted last year by Fumio Nutahara in the FIA World Rally Championship. The new tyre, the A035E is a completely new product for the rally stages, with a clean-sheet design of construction, compound and tread pattern.
It builds on the success of the previous versions of the company’s directional gravel tyres but adds significant advances in terms of performance and wear, as well as longevity and puncture resistance, crucial for the harsh forest rally environment.
The BTRDA series features some classic British rallies, both on gravel and tarmac and while the gravel tyre worked well for Pye, so did the latest version of the Yokohama asphalt tyre, the ADVAN A006T. This is a moulded slick tyre with 17% tread, making it perfect for all varieties of tarmac rallying.
Speaking after clinching the title, Pye said; “This has been a very good season for us – we’ve had no problems all year. We missed two events through work commitments that meant it took a little longer to sew-up the title than we hoped.
“We’ve been using the new Yokohama gravel tyres this year and they have worked very well. Last year’s tyres were good but these have definitely moved forward from there. They were used in the WRC last year and what was learned there has helped us.
“We also did several tarmac events and the Yokohama tyres worked superbly on those as well. While the tyres themselves clearly deliver, we also receive a lot of technical support from Yokohama HPT, both before and during the rallies themselves. The YHPT Rally Technician, Simon Clark, contacts me prior to every event and we discuss the conditions, weather and the tyre strategy and he’s generally absolutely spot-on.”
Commenting on the news, Yokohama HPT Motorsport Manager Mark Evans said; “We’re delighted to offer our congratulations to Tristan for the second year in a row. Clearly the partnership of Pye Motorsport and Yokohama HPT is a winning combination and one that we hope will continue. The new generation of gravel rally tyre is demonstrably an improvement on previous version, as we have seen this year with Tristan. We knew that the asphalt tyre was competitive and now, we have proved the same with the new gravel version.”