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Yokohama Tire Corporation’s ADVAN® ENV-R1™ Orange Oil-infused Race Tires Cruise to Victory in 25 Hours of Thunderhill

Eco-friendly tires finish 1-2 in endurance battle

December 09, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Bill Groak, PCGCampbell, 310/224-4940, bgroak@pcgcampbell.com

FULLERTON, CA (Dec. 9, 2009) – Yokohama Tire Corporation’s eco-friendly race tire, the orange oil-infused ADVAN® ENV-R1™, captured first and second place in the 25 Hours of Thunderhill endurance race, December 4-5 at Thunderhill Raceway in Willow, California.

Both winning entries were Porsche GT3 Cup cars. The Mercer Motorsports team took the checkered flag in 24:50.29 (761 laps, 2,432 miles) with the Ehret Winery team placing second in 24:51.53 (739 laps).

“The Yokohama tires were fantastic,” said Johannes van Overbeek, one of five Mercer drivers who piloted the GT3 Porsche to victory. “They were consistent and durable. We never got a puncture, which is critical in winning an endurance race. What really impressed me was how it adapted to the wide range of temperatures. The temperature at night was 20 degrees and during the day it was 63. The tires worked extremely well in that huge range, and a lot of tires don’t do that.”

Known for its ultra high-performance street and race tires, Yokohama has developed a process that combines orange oil with natural rubber to form a new compound called “Super Nano-Power Rubber™.” In the ADVAN ENV-R1, which became the first tire to utilize sustainable tire technology in automobile racing history as the spec tire in the 2009 Patrón GT3 Challenge by Yokohama, the proprietary technology reduces petroleum by approximately 10 percent. It also increases recyclability while maintaining the high-performance levels needed to compete in top-tier sprint and endurance racing.

The technology was developed by Yokohama’s motorsports division in the 1980s and recently became available as a consumer product as part of the company’s global environmental strategy. As a result, orange oil technology is available to U.S. consumers – with fitments for the Toyota Prius, Honda Civic Hybrid, Toyota Camry Hybrid, Honda Accord Hybrid and other models - in the all-new dB Super E-spec™ passenger car tire, which went on sale in July.

“I’m an avid outdoorsman,” said van Overbeek, “so I’m always on the environmental side. I don’t care what’s in a tire, as long as you get the right results. This orange oil tire is durable, consistent and eco-friendly, so you get the best of both worlds.”

Celebrating its 40th anniversary in the United States, 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.