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Yokohama Tire Corporation’s 2011 Motorsports Program Gears Up

Tire maker continues with teams in off-road and ALMS, plus “eco-racing’ in the GT3 Challenge and GTC series

March 15, 2011

FULLERTON, CA (March 15, 2011) – From rugged desert terrains to legendary tracks such as Sebring International Raceway, Yokohama Tire Corporation’s motorsports program will be in full swing in 2011. Once again, Yokohama will be involved in off-road racing’s SCORE, SNORE and Lucas Oil series, as well as endurance racing in the competitive ALMS classes. Additionally, Yokohama’s breakthrough eco-racing campaign will continue in the GT3 and GTC series with its orange oil-infused ADVAN® ENV-R2™, the first – and only – environmentally-friendly tire used in a racing series.

“We’re definitely ready and eager to begin our motorsports season,” said Andrew Briggs, Yokohama senior manager of motorsports. “Cameron and Heidi Steele, both past off-road champions, are ready to reclaim their titles, and in ALMS, we have aligned with new racing partners.”

“Our biggest achievement last year was the introduction and success of the ENV-R2 tire. From a performance racing standpoint, it exceeded all driver expectations. The racers in the Patrón GT3 Challenge by Yokohama gave it strong reviews, and it performed exceptionally well in the GTC endurance races. The ENV-R2 uses less petroleum than its predecessor, the ENV-R1™; reducing petroleum inputs by approximately 20 percent and increasing recyclability while performing at the same level as previous compounds.”

All told, Yokohama will participate in six race series during 2011, ranging from sports cars to off-road trucks. Series include:

IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama

This is the third year Yokohama is sponsoring the 16-race series (two races at eight venues). The ENV-R2 is the series’ spec tire and will be on a fleet of Porsche 911 GT3 race cars at leading U.S. tracks such as Sebring, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Road Atlanta.

There will be fields of more than 30 cars vying for championships in two divisions: Platinum (for 2010-11 GT3 Porsches only) and Gold (2005½ – 2009 GT3 Porsches).

The series begins at Sebring, March 17-18. For details, visit http://www.imsachallenge.com/.

IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama Schedule
March 17-18: Sebring International Raceway; Sebring, Florida
April 28-May 1: Miller Motorsports Park; Tooele, Utah
June 10-12: Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on the Île de Notre-Dame; Montreal, Quebec, Canada
July 9: Lime Rock Park; Lakeview, Connecticut
July 23-24: Mosport International Raceway; Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
August 19-20: Road America; Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
September 17-18: Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca; Monterey, California
September 29-30: Road Atlanta; Braselton, Georgia

American Le Mans Series (ALMS) and GT Challenge (GTC) Class

This season, Yokohama and the West Racing Team are teaming up together to campaign an ADVAN® A005 tire-shod Lamborghini in the ALMS GT Class. Drivers are veterans Nicky Pastorelli and Dominik Schwager.

Also new this season: Yokohama will be partnering with Paul Miller on his Porsche GT3 entry in the GT Class. The Porsche will be on A005 tires and will be driven by Bryce Miller and René Rast.

The nine-race series begins with the 12 hours of Sebring on March 19, and travels to many top courses, including Road Atlanta, where Yokohama is the “Official Tire.” For details, visit the ALMS web site at http://www.americanlemans.com/.

For the ALMS GTC class, Yokohama’s orange oil-infused ENV-R2 race tires will again be campaigned. A field of approximately 10 cars will compete at all ALMS events, including the endurance races, such as the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans. More details are at http://www.americanlemans.com/primary1.php?cat=schedule|calendar.

2011 ALMS Schedule and GT Challenge Schedule
March 16-19: 59th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring; Sebring International Raceway; Sebring, Florida
April 15-16: ALMS at Long Beach; Long Beach, California
July 8-9: ALMS Northeast Grand Prix; Lime Rock Park; Lakeview, Connecticut
July 22-24: Grand Prix of Mosport; Mosport International Raceway; Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
August 4-6: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge; Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course; Lexington, Ohio
August 18-20: Road Race Showcase; Road America; Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
September 2-3: Baltimore Grand Prix; Baltimore, Maryland
September 15-17: ALMS Series Monterey; Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca; Monterey, California
September 28-October 1: 14th Annual Petit Le Mans; Road Atlanta; Braselton, Georgia

SCORE International Off-Road Racing

The Yokohama-sponsored Steeles – Heidi and Cameron – have a score to settle this season. Heidi, a three-time titlist, looks to reclaim her Class 6 SCORE (Southern California Off Road Enthusiasts) championship, while husband Cameron, a Trophy Truck class veteran and TV commentator, is aiming for more podium finishes. Heidi is off to a great start, winning the Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 in San Felipe, Baja, Mexico, which took place March 11-13.

In 2008, Heidi etched her name in off-road history by being the first woman to win two major truck championships in one season – the Best in the Desert and SCORE. She also was named Dirt Sports magazine’s 2008 Driver of the Year, becoming the first female to win the coveted award. Heidi’s Ford Ranger runs on off-the-shelf Geolandar M/T+® tires.

Cameron, a two-time SCORE Person of the Year, has a new No. 16 Geiser Brothers Chevrolet truck this season. The 800-horsepower machine is mounted with 37-inch Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S® R tires specially engineered for extreme off-road conditions. The next race is the Baja 500 in Baja Mexico, June 3-5. For details, go to http://www.score-international.com/.

Remaining 2011 SCORE Desert Championship Series Schedule
June 3-5: 43rd Tecate SCORE Baja 500; Ensenada, Baja, Mexico
August 26-28: 16th SCORE Terrible’s Primm 300; Primm, Nevada
November 17-20: 44th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000; Ensenada, Baja, Mexico

SNORE

Cameron Steele, a two-time Unlimited Truck Class series champ, will pilot his new 800-horsepower Geiser Brothers Chevrolet truck (fitted with specially-engineered 37-inch Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S R tires) at SNORE (Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts) events during the six-race 2011 season.

Details can be found at http://www.snoreracing.net/.

2011 Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts (SNORE) Schedule
March 26-27: Mint 400; Las Vegas, Nevada
May 14-15: 250 Race; TBD
July 30-31: Midnight Special; Primm, Nevada
October 22-23: SNORE 250; Pahrump, Nevada
December 10-11: Rage at the River; Laughlin, Nevada

Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series

Last season, Yokohama expanded its off-road activities by being an associate sponsor of the Lucas Oil Series. This year, Yokohama is partnering with Stronghold Motorsports and Cameron Steele in the Pro Lite Class. Steele will pilot Stronghold’s 300 hp Pro Lite Unlimited truck (on off-the-shelf Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S tires) in the eight-race series, which combines the Midwest tradition of short course off-road racing with a West Coast influence. Yokohama is additionally sponsoring Jimmy Stephenson – who will also be on Geolandar A/T-S tires – in the Pro Lite Unlimited Class. Other Yokohama sponsored drivers include Stronghold team member Brandon Bailey in the Pro Unlimited Buggy Class and FUNCO Motorsports’ Chad George in the Super Lite Class. The season kicks off March 19-20 at Firebird Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona. For more information, visit http://www.lucasoiloffroad.com .

2011 Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series Schedule
March 19-20, Firebird Raceway; Phoenix, Arizona
April 16-17, Speedworld Off-Road Park; Surprise, Arizona
May 21-22, Glen Helen Raceway; San Bernardino, California
June 25-26, Miller Motorsports Park; Tooele, Utah
August 6-7, Glen Helen Raceway; San Bernardino, California
September 24-25, Speedworld Off-Road Park; Surprise, Arizona
November 5-6, Las Vegas Motor Speedway; Las Vegas, Nevada
December 11, Lucas Oil Off-Road Challenge Cup; Firebird Raceway; Phoenix, Arizona

Yokohama Tire Corporation is the North American manufacturing and marketing arm of Tokyo, Japan-based The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., a global manufacturing and sales company of premium tires since 1917. Servicing a network of more than 4,500 points of sale in the U.S., Yokohama Tire Corporation is a leader in technology and innovation. The company’s complete product line includes the dB Super E-spec™ – the world’s first tire to use orange oil to reduce petroleum – as well as tires for high-performance, light truck, passenger car, commercial truck and bus, and 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 “Tire Safety” section at www.yokohamatire.com.