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Oil's well that (hopefully) ends well for Yokohama Rubber in Dakar Rally

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Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. announced it will sponsor a car using bio-diesel fuel in the 30th Dakar Rally in 2008.

It will be the second consecutive year the company has supported this environmental project, which uses 100% bio-diesel fuel refined from used tempura (deep fry) oil. Dakar Rally 2008 will start in Lisbon, Portugal, on Jan. 5.

The Osaka Sangyo University (OSU) Dakar Rally Project was launched in June 2006 to raise awareness of the importance of environmental protection through motorsports. Racer Ukyo Katayama is another participant in the project.

In 2007, the project team finished 68th in the general category and 19th in its class with Katayama at the wheel.

In 2008, Yokohama will provide the OSU team's Toyota Land Cruiser 100 with Geolander A/T-S tires, which feature "orange oil" technology. The proprietary engineering process combines citrus oil with natural rubber to form a new compound called "Super Nanopower Rubber (SNR)." According to Yokohama, it reduces the use of petroleum products in tires by 80%.

Under its ecoMOTION slogan, Yokohama develops a variety of environmentally sound products, promotes environmental activities at its production and office sites, and supports social activities contributing to the environment.

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