Yokohama ends 2008 programme in style

After yet another year of motorsport activities across the globe, Yokohama’s racing programme for 2008 ends this weekend with the 55th Macau Grand Prix, featuring the International F3 Macau Grand Prix and the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) finale.

As the official supplier to the Macau Grand Prix since Formula 3 cars were introduced in 1983, this will be the 26th consecutive year that Yokohama ADVAN is the race’s control tyre. The street race is known as one of the biggest motorsport events in Asia, featuring the world’s top Formula 3 drivers, as Ayrton Senna proved in 1983 when he won the race before graduating to Formula 1.

“Macau has always been a very special occasion for Yokohama and this year is no exception,” said Matthijs Mathlener, Yokohama’s Motorsports Manager Europe. “To have 25 years of continuous partnership already with such a prestigious event is an honour and we look forward to continuing this association long into the future.”

This year’s young hopefuls, which include newly crowned British F3 Champion Jaime Alguersuari, Japanese F3 title winner Carlo van Dam and Australian F3 title winner James Winslow amongst many others, will share this weekend’s timetable with the best touring car drivers in the world as the 2008 WTCC season draws to a close in Macau.

The drivers’ title remains open, although only two SEAT drivers can still claim it; Frenchman Yvan Muller is currently leading the championship standings with Italy’s Gabriele Tarquini 14-points adrift.

“Macau represents a special challenge when it comes to tyres,” explains Yokohama Technical Consultant Ian Beveridge. “The Formula 3 single-seaters require a high level of control and reliability from their tyres in order to cope with such a competitive race as well as the track’s extremely rough surface and high level of grip.

“On the other hand, the WTCC tyres are used to coping with abrasive surfaces normally found on street circuits; they have already raced in Pau, France, this year. Both sets of tyres have been designed to deliver in harsher conditions than the ones featured this weekend; we would therefore expect drivers to be more challenged by the circuit’s limited space and surrounding walls than by the tyres.”

Eurosport's WTCC coverage begins Sunday 16 November with Qualifying at 00.00 (CET) followed by Race One and Two shown live from 04:55 (CET) on Eurosport International and Asia Pacific.

Macau track facts Length of circuit                          6.117 kmNumber of corners                      18Distance:turn ranking (1-10)*       4.95 (eighth most demanding 2008 WTCC track)Race distance                           55.053 km ( 9 laps x 6.117 km)Average speed of 2007 winner     Menu, 142.62kph (weather/track: bright 23º / dry 27º)* Where 10 is the 2008 WTCC circuit with the most turns/KM

YOKOHAMA is the official tyre supplier for:FIA World Touring Car Championship (one make)Formula Master (one make)Macau F3 (one make)Italian Formula Master (one make)German Formula 3 (one make)