Japanese tyre manufacturer Yokohama has been selected for the FIA Formula Two championship. One step away from the pinnacle of motorsport, the formula will use Yokohama control tyres for the 2012 and 2013 seasons.Run by the world-renowned MSV operation and headed by former Formula One driver Dr Jonathan Palmer, Formula 2 is widely recognised as the most cost effective stepping stone to Formula One for any aspiring single seat racer. Using identical cars, designed by Williams Grand Prix Engineering and using a 400bhp turbocharged 1800cc engine, the ratio of performance to cost is unparalleled.
The adoption of Yokohama as control tyres means the addition of a second FIA championship to the Japanese brand's portfolio; it has provided the control tyres for the FIA World Touring Car Championship since 2006. It also has extensive experience in single-seaters, having been used on the WTCC support series, Formula Master and for more than two decades on the iconic Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix, along with supplying the control tyre for the German F3 championship.The actual tyres to be used will be designated ADVAN A005 for the dry and A006 for the wet, as they are in the WTCC. However, for F2, they will be a completely new construction, developed specifically for the series. Sized 240/600R13 for the front and 300/600R13 for the rear, they will be assembled to wheel rims at Yokohama's UK distributor, Yokohama HPT Ltd and transported to races by MSV, as part of the centralised operation along with supplying personnel on-event for advice and technical back-up to the drivers, teams and MSV.
Winter testing on the new tyres and other revisions to the car specification has revealed improved lap times at the Circuit de Barcelona/Catalunya in 2011, indicating how competitive the 2012 season is likely to be. The eight round/16 race series visits some of Europe's most iconic circuits, including two visits to the UK - Silverstone and Brands Hatch - as well as Nürburgring, Spa-Francorchamps and Monza.
Commenting, Yokohama HPT Ltd's Managing Director, David Seward, said: "This is an exciting and prestigious series to be involved in and I am delighted that Yokohama has been chosen to provide tyres for F2.
"Formula 2 is a genuine slicks-and-wings formula and as such, is something that Yokohama has a huge amount of experience of, thanks to its adoption as control tyre for the Macau F3 Grand Prix for almost 30 years. We have a very long-standing relationship with MSV, which runs the F2 series and I am looking forward to working together with them on this exciting partnership. It will be a very busy year for Yokohama and YHPT but also, an incredibly rewarding one and we are looking forward to the start of the season."
F2 Chief Executive Jonathan Palmer commented: "We're delighted to confirm our new partnership between Formula Two and Yokohama. Given the impressive results achieved in testing so far we're confident our new tyres will deliver enhanced performance both in terms of pace and also consistency, which is crucial in maintaining the completely equal environment of F2. This forms a significant part of an upgrade package that will see the Williams JPH1B F2 car lap around two seconds faster than its 2011 equivalent. We're now looking forward to working with Yokohama on further developments ahead of the season opener at Silverstone in April."