Yokohama will race on home ground for the first time with the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) next weekend for rounds 21 and 22, at the Okayama International Circuit in Japan.
The Japanese manufacturer has competed in a dozen countries with the championship since it was appointed as its official tyre supplier in 2006, but it will be the first time races are held in Japan.
Although the track is a known quantity for Yokohama, they have raced there before with other racing programmes such as Japanese GT, ensuring the ADVAN tyres deliver their usual high standards to the field of touring cars is still paramount. As teams and drivers strive to get to know the track as quickly as possible, all will rely on their trusted tyres to deliver grip and speed as consistently as they always have.
“It is very special to be racing in Japan this year,” said Yokohama Tyre Engineer Mr S. Watanabe. “The entire Yokohama team is dedicated to providing the highest quality of product and service to the world touring cars. We do this throughout the entire season and enjoy our work as well as seeing the teams win at all the countries we visit. To also be able to do that in our country is very nice; we will probably celebrate that little bit more on Sunday!”
Four Japanese drivers will take part in the Okayama rounds; Yukinori Taniguchi will race for N.Technology with Takayuki Aoki joining Wiechers-Sport. The Liqui Molv Team Engstler will run Masaki Kano, whilst Yokohama-supported driver Manabu Orido will race with Chevrolet.
“I have been driving on Yokohama tyres for the last 20 years and I hope that our association lasts for a long time!” said Orido. “It is great to get the chance to drive in the WTCC. All the drivers are very professional and with the support of the manufacturers and the FIA, it is very important championship.”
Eurosport's WTCC coverage begins Saturday 25 October with qualifying shown live Eurosport International and Asia Pacific at 09:00 (CET). Race One will be shown live on Sunday 26 October from 07:15 (CET) on Eurosport International and Asia Pacific with Race Two starting at 08:45 (CET), also on Eurosport International and Asia Pacific.
Okayama track factsLength of circuit 3.703 kmNumber of corners 11Distance:turn ranking (1-10)* 5 (seventh most demanding 2008 WTCC track)Length of longest straight 0.680 kmRace distance 51.842 km (14 laps x 3.703 km)* Where 10 is the 2008 WTCC circuit with the most turns/KM