Yokohama to continue supplying ADVAN racing tires for the Japanese Super Formula Championship

Tokyo, Japan – The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., announced that it will continue to supply its ADVAN racing tires as the control tire for the Japanese SUPER FORMULA Championship (hereafter, SUPER FORMULA) for the next several years from 2023. Yokohama Rubber has served as SUPER FORMULA’s control tire supplier since 2016. From 2023, the Company plans to supply racing tires made from sustainable materials. Development of these tires will begin this year.

The supply of racing tires made from sustainable materials will be carried out in support of the SUPER FORMULA NEXT50 (SF NEXT50) project announced in October 2021 by Japan Race Promotion Inc. (JRP), which runs the SUPER FORMULA series. The SF NEXT50 project is being promoted with the cooperation of various companies that share the common goal of creating a sustainable motorsports industry by responding to changes in the environment surrounding the automobile and motorsports industries, including the promotion of SDGs and carbon neutrality.

Yokohama Rubber has been conducting R&D on sustainable materials for several years and has exhibited its research on technology to produce synthetic rubber from biomass and on recyclable thermoreversible rubber at the Rubber & Elastomer Technology Exhibition held in 2016 and the 46th Tokyo Motor Show in 2019. In its development of racing tires for SF NEXT50, Yokohama Rubber plans to use various naturally derived compounding agents, such as silica produced from rice husks, oil from oil palm fruit nuts, and orange peels. Rubber recycled from scrap tires also will be used. Yokohama Rubber plans to use sustainable materials that will not negatively affect racing car performance. The tires will be tested during trial runs of the future formula racing car that will be conducted by JRP before and after each SUPER FORMULA race this year, with development of the 2023 control tire scheduled to be completed by the end of the 2022 SUPER FORMULA season. Yokohama Rubber will continue its development of sustainable racing tires after 2023, with the aim of supplying control tires in 2025 that have a sustainable material content ratio of 35% or more without any sacrifice in sports performance.

Under Yokohama Rubber’s three-year (2021–2023) medium-term management plan YX2023, the consumer tire business aims to maximize its sale ratios of high-value-added YOKOHAMA tires, namely the global flagship ADVAN brand, the GEOLANDAR brand of tires for SUVs and pickup trucks, and various winter tires. The plan also positions participation in motorsports activities as crucial to Yokohama Rubber’s development of advanced tire technologies and strengthening of its ADVAN and GEOLANDAR brands. The Company’s development of high-performance and top-quality tires for new cars and the replacement market benefits from the technologies accumulated through its participation in a wide variety of motorsports events in Japan and around the globe, from top-category races to grassroots races. Yokohama Rubber also regards ESG activities as an important strategy that will contribute to the strengthening of its business and lead to sustainable increases in its corporate value. Efforts to realize a circular economy aim to increase the ratio of renewable and recyclable materials used by the Company to more than 30% of total materials used by 2030.

Comment from Yoshihisa Ueno, President of Japan Race Promotion, Inc., “We have worked closely with Yokohama Rubber, Inc., over the past several years to take SUPER FORMULA to another level. We are extremely pleased to take on new challenges with them, as part of the SF NEXT50 project. As we work towards the realization of carbon neutral, while at the same time developing racing tires that place less of a burden on the environment, and from the perspective of our ‘driver’s first’ initiative, we ponder the question “what is the best tire solution for one of the top races in the world?” We hope it will be a big step forward by developing sustainable racing tires for the future of motorsport, as well as for the automotive industry on a whole, and from a promoter’s perspective, we also strive to increase both the overall image and value of SUPER FORMULA.”

Comment from Masataka Yamaishi, Yokohama Rubber President and Chairman of the Board, “In support of JRP’s SF NEXT50 concept for sustainable motorsports activities, Yokohama Rubber will continue to supply the control tires for SUPER FORMULA races from 2023 while also continuing our effort to develop racing tires that use sustainable materials. We regard this ESG activity as one of our business activities aimed at maximizing the sales ratio of high value-added products in our consumer tire business. Yokohama Rubber will be expanding its use of renewable and recyclable raw materials in the future, with the aim of using those materials in our tires without sacrificing the vehicles driving performance. Toward that end, we look forward to supporting SUPER FORMULA, Japan’s penultimate race series, and to developing and testing tires under the extreme conditions typical in the races.”

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