The 2009 Patrn GT3 Challenge by Yokohama will be the first professional racing series to utilize Yokohama's environmentally friendly orange oil tire technology.
All teams in the six-race series that features Porsche 911 GT3 Cup racecars will use the tires, which are produced using approximately 20% less synthetic rubber.
Yokohama Tire, known for its ADVAN brand of high-performance street and racing tires, has developed a process that combines orange oil with natural rubber to form a new compound called "Super Nano-Power Rubber". This proprietary technology reduces the amount of petroleum used in tires.
"The use of orange oil is an incredible breakthrough for both racecar and passenger car tire production" said Mark Chung, director corporate strategy and planning. "This innovative technology increases the use of natural rubber in lieu of petroleum-derived synthetic rubber, while achieving the same level of performance as conventional race tires."
Researched and tested on the race track, the orange oil technology will also be available to US consumers in the all-new dB Super E-spec passenger car tire this summer.
Yokohama's Motorsports division began researching this technology in the late 1980s. Development was recently accelerated as part of GD100, the company's global environmental strategy. Benefits from this technology are realized in the manufacturing process, continue throughout the useful life of the tire as a result of lower rolling resistance, and conclude with improved recyclability, according to Chung.
"This is a landmark development by Yokohama and an example of how racing can play an integral part in the development of consumer technology," said IMSA's Tim Mayer, chief operating officer of the sanctioning body. "We are excited to have Yokohama involved in this championship and proud of the advancement that its technology represents for the future of racing worldwide."