TCR UK ANNOUNCES OHLINS & YOKOHAMA AS PARTNERS
TCR UK recently announced at the Autosport International Racing Car Show at the NEC in Birmingham this past week that it has confirmed its suspension and tyre partners for the inaugural 2018 season, with Ohlins and Yokohama confirming their support for the British arm for one of the fastest growing categories in motorsport worldwide.
Öhlins is already a familiar name in Touring Car paddocks around the globe, with the company having won championships in WTCC, BTCC, DTM and at Le Mans. The 1998 British Touring Car Champion Rickard Rydell used Öhlins suspension on his TWR Volvo S40, while another Swedish Volvo driver – Thed Björk – also relied on Öhlins suspension to help him clinch the most recent World Touring Car title.
As well as the partnership between Öhlins and TCR UK, it has been confirmed that the British Öhlins centre Mick Gardner Racing will be present in the paddock at each of the seven race meetings to provide suspension service, support and advice to teams.
Jennifer Mouratsing, TCR UK Championship Manager commented; “As we near the start of the inaugural TCR UK championship, Öhlins is an important brand to welcome onboard as a series partner. We’re delighted that the company shares our view that TCR is the future of Touring Car racing and that they feel this is a logical partnership that can benefit their road car customers as well as the racing teams.
“Not only do they bring an unrivalled motorsport heritage with them, but their nominated Suspension Service agent Mick Gardner Racing is already very well known amongst many of our teams, which will give the whole paddock faith in their technical expertise.”
Chris Witter, General Manager – Öhlins Distribution & Test Centre, added; “This is an exciting partnership for us as we look to expand our motorsport programme to include TCR and transfer that message over to our Road & Track product range. The TCR series is clearly a powerful network including interest from manufacturers, so it is great to see the series expand to the UK, one of the most enthusiastic markets in the world for Motorsport.
“It is also pleasing to have Mick Gardner Racing involved on the ground at each event; they are renowned as one of the most experienced motorsport suspension specialists in the UK. We are looking forward to round one at Silverstone!”
Yokohama was chosen thanks to its long association with Touring Car racing, having supplied tyres to the FIA World Touring Car Championship for the past 11 years and propelling a number of star names to the British Touring Car title in the series’ glory years of the 1980s and 1990s.
This announcement is one of the final pieces of the jigsaw to fall into place, allowing teams to start testing with the tyres they’ll be using when TCR UK gets underway at Silverstone over the Easter weekend (March 31st/April 1st). The championship will then visit Knockhill (May 12th/13th), Brands Hatch (June 2nd/3rd), Castle Combe (July 14th/15th), Oulton Park (August 4th), Croft (September 8th/9th) and Donington Park (October 13th/14th).
A choice of two tyres will be supplied to TCR UK competitors: for dry tracks, cars will be fitted with Yokohama’s A005 racing slick tyre, with the company’s A006 rain tyre provided for wet conditions. Both options will be provided in 250/660R18 size.
Mark Evans, Head of Motorsport for Yokohama HPT commented: “The new TCR UK championship is set to be one of the most exciting series in British motorsport and we’re incredibly proud that Yokohama is playing a pivotal role from the outset. The cars will be fitted with our proven motorsport products, which have delivered fantastic successes for many drivers around the world. Given their impressive levels of performance and reliability, we are confident that the tyres will help produce a first class racing spectacle.”
Jonathan Ashman, the Promoter of TCR UK, added: “We are delighted to confirm Yokohama as our tyre partner ahead of our maiden season. Their heritage in World and British Touring Cars speaks for itself, so we know our competitors will be using the best tyres available. Also, because of the way TCR has spread across the world, we’ve always wanted to make it as easy as possible for our teams and drivers to compete in other TCR championships should they so wish. Having experience of such a strong tyre partner as Yokohama should stand them in good stead wherever they go.”