Yokohama takes on 25 hours of Thunderhill
Yokohama Tire Corporation-sponsored Formula Drift driver Tyler McQuarrie is changing race styles as he tackles the tough 25 Hours of Thunderhill in northern California on ADVAN ENV-R2 tires. The 10th running of the mega-sports car endurance contest – which has 75 entrees – takes place December 8-9 at Thunderhill Raceway Park in Willows, California.
McQuarrie will pilot – with co-drivers Memo Gidley, Pierre Ehert and Anthony Ward – in the Motorsport Solutions/Ehret Family Winery Porsche 911 at Thunderhill. The Porsche will run on the orange oil-infused ENV-R2 tires. Yokohama is also the tire of choice for the KMG team’s BMW M3 (fitted with ADVAN A005 tires) in the NASA (National Auto Sport Association) contest.
“The Yokohama ENV-R2 is the perfect tire for us to run in the long, demanding 25 Hours of Thunderhill,” said McQuarrie, who’s going from drifting to the punishing rigors of endurance racing. “The tire is fast and performs very well, but more importantly, it’s very consistent. Consistency is so important in endurance racing because you have multiple drivers in the car performing in a variety of conditions throughout the race. Consistency is more important than pace, but we’ll have both with the Yokohama ENV-R2."
McQuarrie, said the 25 Hours of Thunderhill presents different challenges. “In Formula D, you have to be inch perfect or your event could be over. That takes 100 percent focus for a very short period of time. In endurance racing, it’s not about being perfect but more about minimizing any mistakes over the 25 hours and being easy on the car.”
The tires in both disciplines are equally important, McQuarrie said. “In drifting and endurance racing you are looking for grip and consistency from the tires, but that is where the similarities stop. In drifting the rear tires are often going two to three times the car’s actual rolling speed, so they don’t last long. Drifting is all about side bite and forward bite at big angle and the AD08s gives me all of that.
“You want the endurance tire to last as long as possible but be able to do the same lap time from start to finish of a stint. And having a tire with the ability to do a double stint has big advantages and the ENV-R2 fulfills all of those categories for us. The AD08 I use on my Formula D car is a DOT-treaded tire that anyone can buy off-the-shelf at a local retailer. The ENV-R2 is a racing slick designed only for track use, but the two tires share similar Yokohama technologies that give me grip and consistency, whether I'm drifting or racing.”
Ken Kurtz, KMG team leader/driver, agreed on the importance of the tires in racing.
“The A005s defy logic. It’s a racing slick, which means it has amazing grip, but the surprise is the exceptional wear characteristics – the secret to success in endurance racing. Less tire changes (fewer pit stops) equals a better chance of winning. With the A005 you have the best of both worlds: world-class grip and longevity. I’ve won multiple championships with the A005, and whether we’re using them in sprint races or endurance races, they provide the winning edge. The A005 is our secret weapon at Thunderhill.”