Several teams to compete on Yokohama ADVAN ENV-R1 tires in new ALMS class
Numerous teams that are racing on Yokohama Tire Corporation's orange oil-infused race tires in the Patrón GT3 Challenge by Yokohama, will also be using the same eco-friendly tires in the newly created Challenge Class of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). The first race is at the Utah Grand Prix, May 14-17 at Miller Motorsports Park in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The new series, a step up in class from the GT3 Challenge, is comprised of teams driving Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars equipped with Yokohama Tire's orange oil ADVAN ENV-R1, including Gruppe Orange, ORBIT Racing/Tequila Patrón (two entries) and Snow Racing/Universal Industrial Sales.
"Since ALMS Challenge cars will be racing side-by-side with the big boys in the P1, P2 and GT2 classes, it's a great opportunity to highlight the performance of our eco-friendly race tires," said Mark Chung, Yokohama director, corporate strategy and planning. "The ENV-R1 reduces petroleum-based material inputs by approximately 15 percent versus a traditional race slick and increases recyclability without compromising the high performance levels of previous race slick compounds.
"Several drivers in the GT3 Challenge, where it's the official spec tire, have told me how impressed they were with the drivability of the ENV-R1. Many of these same drivers will now be using them in the ALMS Challenge class, too."
Yokohama's eco-friendly race tire technology transfers on a greater scale to passenger tires when the dB Super E-spec becomes available this summer. dB Super E-spec sizes are designed for the Toyota Prius, Honda Civic Hybrid and other fuel-efficient models.
After winning two GT3 Challenge races at Sebring on the ENV-R1, Melanie Snow of Snow Racing (one of the drivers also competing ALMS Challenge), said, "I thought the ADVAN ENV-R1 worked really well," she said. "We were quick in traffic and for us to be able to turn the times that we did was good. The tires held up well for me. My second to last lap was the fastest for me, so they were consistent all the way through."
Also on the Utah race docket is the Yokohama-sponsored Panoz Team PTG, which is off to a strong start this season with two podium finishes at Sebring and St. Petersburg in the GT2 class. Drivers Ian James and Dominik Farnbacher have piloted the Yokohama ADVAN A005-shod Esperante GTLM to third place in the points standings in what is arguably this season's most competitive class. At Utah, they will once again be going against Ferrari 430 GT and Porsche 911 GT3 RSR factory teams.
"With the eco-friendly ADVAN ENV-R1 race tires competing in two classes and the Panoz Team on a roll, it'll be a great weekend for Yokohama motorsports in Utah," said Chung.