WTCC DRIVER OFFERS WET WEATHER DRIVING TIPS The YOKOHAMA-supplied FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) returns on 5 September from its long summer break for the Race of Germany at Oschersleben, where track conditions are often affected by...
WTCC DRIVER OFFERS WET WEATHER DRIVING TIPS
The YOKOHAMA-supplied FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) returns on 5 September from its long summer break for the Race of Germany at Oschersleben, where track conditions are often affected by rain. As the summer comes to an end and the autumn begins, regular road drivers are also faced with the prospect of driving on slippery roads. We asked WTCC pilot Augusto Farfus how racing drivers counter the rain on their YOKOHAMA eco racing tyres.
Brazilian pilot Farfus has competed in the WTCC since the series began in 2006, and finished third overall last season. The 26-year-old has a remarkable track record at Oschersleben, winning at the German circuit three times in as many years, and has done well in wet races, such as the 2009 Race of Japan at Okayama, where he claimed a superb pole-to-finish victory in the rain.
"Wet conditions are the most critical you can have on a race track," said Farfus. "Driving in the wet is quite different compared to driving in the dry. The braking period is much longer and you obviously have to slow down as the grip level is lower. You have to remain very focused at all times. The YOKOHAMA rain tyres we have in the WTCC are good; as a result it is not too difficult to keep the tyres at the right temperature. Whatever happens, you shouldn't slow down too much. You just have to find the right window."
Keeping the optimum grip in wet conditions is a useful skill not only for professional racing drivers but for all car-owners, whether they are an everyday commuter or just a casual enthusiast. YOKOHAMA Europe Tyre Technical Service Engineer Ole Jacobs offers his expert advice: "Always adjust your driving style to the environmental conditions. Keep a greater distance from other drivers under wet conditions and be sure that your tyres are used under the recommended tyre pressure. The best choice of tyre to avoid getting into risky situations is a premium road tyre."
When asked whether he could give any general tips for driving in the rain, WTCC driver Farfus said "There is just one piece of advice: slow down and drive carefully! Even if you think that you can drive the same speed as before, you always have to bear in mind that braking takes much longer, and the grip level also decreases in the wet in road cars. You really notice this in the corners. Slowing down minimises the risk of aquaplaning, which is the worst thing that can happen in the wet."
YOKOHAMA introduced its road-going C.drive2 tyre this year to give drivers more confidence when driving on slippery roads. "The C.drive2 tyres are especially good for driving under wet conditions as they are developed to guarantee better traction on wet road surfaces due to their new tread design and components," continued Jacobs. "If you choose C.drive2 then you've made the right choice for safe driving." Just like the YOKOHAMA eco-racing tyre used in the WTCC, the YOKOHAMA C.drive2 road tyre is an eco tyre with low rolling resistance and superb fuel efficiency.
The race action from the traditionally wet Oschersleben circuit will be broadcast across Eurosport's channels, with Qualifying aired live at 15:00 (CET) on Saturday 4 September on Eurosport 2. Live coverage of Warm Up will begin on Sunday 5 September at 09:00 (CET), followed by Race One at 12:45 (CET) and Race Two at 14:45 (CET) all on Eurosport.
Oschersleben track facts
Circuit length: 3.696 metres
Number of laps: 2 x 14
Race distance: 51.7 kilometres