Yokohama supports The Champions of Tomorrow

It's no accident that the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) presents a global platform for up-and-coming racing stars to shine. With carefully controlled regulations on car development and equalisation, outright driver ability and ...

It's no accident that the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) presents a global platform for up-and-coming racing stars to shine. With carefully controlled regulations on car development and equalisation, outright driver ability and determination take centre-stage. The championship provides an ideal environment for young, rising drivers to display their talents in front of an international audience, racing against some of the most established names in the sport.

Yokohama recognises that today's independent drivers are the factory drivers and champions of tomorrow, and so for the last four years has supported the Yokohama Independents' Trophy.

Winner of the 2008 Yokohama Independents' Trophy, Sergio Hernandez has put his experience to good use, and has stepped-up to the factory BMW Team Italy-Spain this year, proving himself worthy of his new position with three top-six finishes.

"Winning the Yokohama Independents' Trophy was really important for me and my then team, Proteam Motorsport, and to get the call from Roberto [Ravaglia, Team Principal for BMW Team Italy-Spain] was the best thing that could have happened," said Hernandez. "Without the Trophy win I don't think I would have got the drive. The Trophy is giving young drivers a great chance to be seen in the media, especially through the Eurosport multimedia platform.

"Last year I was still learning the ADVAN tyre characteristics, but this year I know a lot more through carefully studying data with Yokohama's engineers. The tyres provide good grip and feedback, and I have a strong relationship with the Yokohama engineers. The set-up of all elements on the car are important, but because the tyres keep the car on the road, the relationship with Yokohama is especially important," added Hernandez.

"As part of Yokohama's ongoing commitment to the WTCC and motorsport, we are proud to once again support the Yokohama Independents' Trophy in 2009," said Susumu Watanabe, Yokohama Motorsport Technical Department Manager. "Hernandez has proved that rising privateers have the pace to be factory drivers, and we hope that many more drivers will benefit from the exposure that the Independents' Trophy provides."

Coverage of the Yokohama Independents' Trophy, along with the full WTCC races, will start with qualifying on Saturday 30 May on Eurosport 2 at 15:30 (CET). Sunday's coverage is broadcast live on Eurosport, with Race 1 starting at 12:45 (CET), followed by Race 2 at 14:45.

-credit: yokohama

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Sergio Hernandez
Teams Proteam Motorsport