Brno: Yokohama preview

BMWs and SEATs will do battle at Brno TO PUSH OR PULL? The FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) has always attracted a healthy mix of nationalities, drivers and cars, and 2009 is no different. Tyre manufacturer Yokohama is supplying ADVAN...

BMWs and SEATs will do battle at Brno

TO PUSH OR PULL?

The FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) has always attracted a healthy mix of nationalities, drivers and cars, and 2009 is no different. Tyre manufacturer Yokohama is supplying ADVAN racing tyres to four different manufacturers: BMW, SEAT, LADA and Chevrolet. Each produce very different cars in terms of design and set-up.

Of the four manufacturers, BMW is the only one to run a rear-wheel drive system, differentiating it from the front-wheel drive SEATs, LADAs and Chevrolets. On 21 June, the WTCC travels to the long, undulating Automotodrom Brno, Czech Republic, for rounds 11 and 12, where each of the marques will deal with the tracks demands very differently.

With the front wheels of the SEATs, LADAs and Chevrolets coping with steering, acceleration and braking, tyre wear on these cars is often more rapid than the BMWs, which find that front and rear tyres wear at a similar rate. However, due to this, towards the end of a race and particularly in wet conditions, BMWs can experience decreased grip.

"In terms of tyre wear, the BMW is considerably more balanced than the front-wheel drive cars, where the rear tyres are underused," said Ian Beveridge, Yokohama Technical Consultant. "Through regular monitoring we've learned that reducing the negative camber of the suspension set-up helps to even the wear of the front-wheel drive cars and equalise performance between each of the manufacturers."

Yokohama's experience over the last four years has taught the company a lot about how the tyres behave, and as a result Yokohama can optimise the ADVAN tyres, no matter the weather or car layout.

"When Yokohama first became involved with the WTCC, we worked hard to ensure that there was a balance of performance for both configurations; it is of the utmost importance to us that the ADVAN works well for the entire field. We continue to monitor the tyre throughout the season, paying particular attention to the alteration of success ballast, which has a noticeable affect, but is still well within the capabilities of the ADVAN," added Beveridge.

Eurosport will broadcast live from the Czech rounds; coverage commences on Eurosport 2 with qualifying at 15:00 (CET) on 20 June. Race 1 will be shown live on Eurosport on 21 June at 12:45 (CET), followed by Race 2 at 14:30 (CET). Coverage continues with behind-the-scenes programme, WTCC Inside, on 23 June at 22:30 (CET).

Brno track facts
Circuit length: 5,403 metres
Number of turns: 15
Race distance: 54.03 kilometres
2008 fastest race lap: Felix Porteiro (BMW 320si) 2:10.108 (149.49km/h)

-credit: yokohama

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Series WTCC
Drivers Felix Porteiro