LONGTIME TOYOTA ATLANTIC SERIES PARTNER YOKOHAMA STEPS UP TO SPONSOR 2005 YOKOHAMA TIRE C2 CHAMPIONSHIP CUP INDIANAPOLIS (May 19, 2005) -- Celebrating its 17th season as a proud sponsor of the Toyota Atlantic Championship, the Yokohama ...
LONGTIME TOYOTA ATLANTIC SERIES PARTNER YOKOHAMA STEPS UP TO SPONSOR 2005 YOKOHAMA TIRE C2 CHAMPIONSHIP CUP
INDIANAPOLIS (May 19, 2005) -- Celebrating its 17th season as a proud sponsor of the Toyota Atlantic Championship, the Yokohama Tire Corporation announced today that it will expand its sponsorship of the series to include the C2 category this season. In addition to the tire manufacturer and distributor serving as presenting sponsor and Official Tire of the series, Yokohama is also lending its support for the 2005 Yokohama Tire C2 Cup.
"We want to thank Yokohama for their continued support of the Toyota Atlantic Championship," said Vicki O'Connor, Managing Director of the Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama. "They've proven to be a trusted partner for the series over the years and we appreciate the dedication and support that they've shown our C2 competitors this season."
The Toyota Atlantic Championship reinstituted the C2 category in 2004 in an effort to provide competitors with pre-existing Atlantic equipment a more cost-effective opportunity to compete in North America's top open-wheel development series. The C2 class has really evolved into a championship within a championship with a separate C2 points and prize fund at each event. In 2005, officials expanded the C2 class by permitting more variations of the Atlantic formula in series competition. There were a total of eight C2 entries among 19 cars at the Toyota Atlantic season-opening race in Long Beach last month, led by California native Justin Sofio who finished fifth overall.
As part of is sponsorship of the C2 category, Yokohama will award a championship trophy and $10,000 prize to the class champion at the end of the 2005 season. The C2 winner of each Atlantic race will also receive a set of Yokohama tires for their performance and the second-place C2 finisher at each event that features three or more class entries will receive two new tires from Yokohama.
"We look forward to expanding our role with the Toyota Atlantic series as sponsor of the Yokohama Tire C2 Cup this season," said Art Michalik, Director of Marketing and Communications for Yokohama. "We wanted to be able to help provide more value to the series and its C2 teams and drivers and this certainly demonstrates the continued commitment that Yokohama has toward the Atlantic series."
In 2004, veteran Atlantic racer and team owner Cam Binder of Canada captured the C2 championship for Binder Racing, edging rookie Tony Loniewski of Olsson Engineering by 11 points for category's top honor.
The Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama continues to be the premier open-wheel development series in North America. The championship is noted for its long history of graduating its stars into Champ Car competition and has helped produce past Champ Car champions Paul Tracy, Jimmy Vasser, Bobby Rahal, Danny Sullivan, Michael Andretti and Jacques Villeneuve. Current Champ Car competitors Alex Tagliani, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andrew Ranger and Ronnie Bremer are also established Toyota Atlantic graduates along with 2004 Champ Car Rookie of the Year and 2003 Atlantic champ A.J. Allmendinger. For more information on the Atlantic series, please visit www.toyotaatlantic.com.