FULLERTON, Calif. -- (Jan. 19, 2006) - After a successful 2005 racing season, which included a 24 Hours of LeMans Class victory, Yokohama Tire Corporation's long-running motorsports program will compete in six 2006 racing series.
Leading the '06 charge for Yokohama Motorsports will be its sports car effort in the multi- class American LeMans Series (ALMS). Yokohama will partner with two GT2 teams to participate in races such as the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Yokohama will be back in action for its 18th consecutive season in the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama (formerly Toyota Atlantic). Atlantics, a development series that has sent drivers to Formula One, Champ Car, IRL and sports car racing, uses Yokohama ADVAN A005.
Yokohama also competes in the precision driving of Formula Drift, as well as the off-road events of the SCORE International series and Ivan Stewart's Pro Truck Series.
* ALMS: In '05, Yokohama triumphed at the 24 Hours of LeMans and scored several podium finishes in GT2 with Porsche and the BAM! team, For '06, Yokohama will partner with the newly reorganized BAM! Team, now known as Farnbacher Loles Racing. In the same GT2 ranks, one of the most successful sports car partnerships is back on track as the BMW PTG team will compete with M3s on ADVAN racing slicks. BMWNA, absent in recent years from the series, was the winner of the first ALMS race, the 1999 12 Hours of Sebring, on Yokohama tires.
* Off-road racing: Yokohama's Geolandar line will compete again in the SCORE Trophy Truck class with driver Cameron Steele and Ivan "Iron Man" Stewart's Protruck Racing Organization, where all competitors use the same Geolandar MT+.
* Formula Drift: Tire choice is key in the growing sport of drifting, where competitors push their cars and tires to the limit while performing controlled slides and achieving required competition elements. Following its back-to-back Formula D championships, Yokohama will race with defending champ Rhys Millen (Pontiac GTO). Yokohama also competes in the D1 professional drift Grand Prix series.
* Champ Car Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama: This venerable begins its 32nd year of competition. Graham Rahal, son of 1986 Indy 500 winner Bobby Rahal, will enter the fray after winning a 2005 SCCA National Championship in Formula Atlantic on Yokohama tires. He will join a multitude of young drivers, including Katherine Legge, who captured three '05 Atlantic races, including a victory at Long Beach, to become the first woman to win a professional open wheel race in North America.
* SCCA Formula Russell Championship Presented by Yokohama: With all competitors driving equally prepared open wheel race cars shod with Yokohama slicks, this development series rewards the talent and skill of the driver. The 15-year Jim Russell Racing School-Yokohama partnership has helped advance many racing careers, including Scott Speed, who this season will become the first American in Formula One since Michael Andretti in 1992.
* International Automobile Federation (FIA): The sanctioning body has selected Yokohama to supply the official tire for the 2006 FIA World Touring Car Championship and the first FIA European Touring Car Cup. This series races in all corners of the world and in 2005 included two-time CART champion Alex Zanardi winning his first race after losing his legs in a 2001 race at Lausitzring, Germany.
"As the 2006 motorsports season approaches, we look to build on our successes we earned last season," said Robert Dole, Yokohama Product Promotion Manager. "We've worked diligently in the off-season to ensure continuation of our upward movement in all avenues of motorsports participation, whether it's with specialized race products or high performance consumer products. From pavement to dirt, whether it's a street course, Le Mans or the Baja Peninsula, Yokohama Motorsports will be there in 2006 competing for the top spot."
Yokohama Tire Corporation is the North American manufacturing and marketing arm of Tokyo, Japan-based Yokohama Rubber Company, a global producer and distributor of premium tires since 1917. Servicing a network of more than 4,500 points of sale in the U.S., Yokohama Tire Corporation offers a complete line of tires, including high-performance, light truck, passenger car, commercial truck and bus, as well as off-the-road mining and construction applications. For more information on Yokohama's extensive product line, visit www.yokohamatire.com.
Yokohama is a strong supporter of the tire care and safety guidelines established by the Rubber Manufacturers Association and the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration. Details can be found at the "Taking Care of Your Tires" section at www.yokohamatire.com.
Contact: Michael F. Hollander, PCGCampbell // email@example.com