Yokohama's eco-friendly race tires win 25-hour race
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."