Porto: Yokohama preview

TESTING TIMES FOR YOKOHAMA The FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) returns to Porto, Portugal, on 5 July 2009, after a year sabbatical. It will be a landmark event for the global touring car series, which marks its 100th race. The ...

TESTING TIMES FOR YOKOHAMA

The FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) returns to Porto, Portugal, on 5 July 2009, after a year sabbatical. It will be a landmark event for the global touring car series, which marks its 100th race.

The championship was in a very different place back in 2007 when it last visited the Portuguese circuit; it was another dominant year for BMW, while SEAT and Chevrolet got to grips with redesigned cars. Fast-forward 24 months and SEAT now has a title under its belt, achieved by Frenchman Yvan Muller last year. However, one thing hasn't changed: tyre manufacturer Yokohama's commitment to supplying ADVAN racing tyres and advice to every competitor on the grid.

The cars are now faster than ever before, so what rigorous method does Yokohama use to ensure its tyres meet expectations and deliver the performance demanded from the world's premier touring car series?

"During development, we work hard to ensure that the performance benefits of a new tyre are the same for every competitor through extensive private testing; this also ensures that lap times equal or better the existing compound," said Yokohama's Motorsport Technical Department Manager, Susumu Watanabe.

"Testing of compound hardness, the tyres reaction to temperature, and the contact patch area (where the tyre meets the road) are aspects we can test in the factory. We then take a selection of compounds and constructions to a track test to narrow down the best one or two options, which finally undergo full race simulation to ensure longevity over an entire race.

"And, as part of our eco-friendly initiative and our changes for the coming season, Yokohama will be removing the use of aromatic oils in its ADVANs," added Watanabe.

Furthermore, Yokohama is pleased to announce that it has won the tender to continue supplying Yokohama ADVANs to the WTCC for a further three years. It is well aware of what is required of the tyres, and continues to develop the ADVAN behind-the-scenes in preparation for the 2010 season.

Live broadcasting from Porto will commence with qualifying on Eurosport 2 at 16:00 (CET) on Saturday 4 July. Warm-up will be shown live on Eurosport at 10:00 (CET) on Sunday 5 July, followed by Race 1 at 12:15 (CET) and Race 2 at 17:30 (CET).

Porto track facts
Circuit length: 4,720 metres
Number of turns: 22
Race distance: 51.92 kilometres
Fastest race lap: Robert Huff (Chevrolet Lacetti) 2:08.829 (131.89km/h)

-credit: yokohama

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Yvan Muller