The racing heritage of Yokohama Rubber Company, Ltd., began with supplying racing tires to the motorsports industry in Japan in 1963. Six short years later Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., based in Tokyo, Japan entered the United States market by opening a facility in Montebello, CA and founded Yokohama Tire Corporation.
In order to establish the company and showcase the products, motorsports was the natural fit so in 1972. Yokohama introduced the G.T. Special products to the United States?
In 1978, ADVAN, Yokohama’s motorsports brand is created. One year later the first victory is awarded to the ADVAN brand with a win in the B class Rally championship.
The 1980s: Grassroots invasion and domination.
The United States autocross world is revolutionized in 1981 with the introduction of the DOT approved A001R tire and sparked the DOT approved tire battle that still rages today. The following year, one of the most memorable Yokohama tires is introduced the A008 with its original asymmetric tread design. On the professional side, Yokohama scores a number of wins across the diverse motorsports spectrum including the Class A, B and C All Japan Rally Championships in 1985, the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1986 and the European Touring Car Championship in 1988.
The 1990s: Success across the spectrum of motorsports.
Building on the success of the previous decade, Yokohama went on to take the United Kingdom, Italian and Australian Touring Car Championship titles in 1990. The same year, Yokohama partners with Jim Russell Racing School, a partnership that continues today. Three prominent wins in endurance racing came in 1994 with the overall victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring Victory, the GTS class win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the win at the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona Win. Keeping the winning streak going, but changing venues, in 1995 Yokohama takes the title at the 73rd Pikes Peak International Hillclimb and earns the British Rally Championship title in 1997. The overall win is awarded to Yokohama at the 1998 Daytona 24 Hours race.
The last decade: Establishing the product as a leader through innovation.
Yokohama started off strong in the new millennium with a class win in 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2000.
In 2003, Yokohama earns the All Japan GT Championship in the GT300 class and takes the class win at Petit Le Mans. At the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2005, Yokohama tires led for 22 of 24 hours taking the GT2 class win. In 2006 and 2007, Yokohama wins the Canadian Rally Championship and take top honours for the North American Championship in 2009.
Also in 2009, Yokohama partnered with the much anticipated return of Jaguar to sports car racing with the Jaguar RSR team. In the same year, Yokohama launched the revolutionary orange oil infused ADVAN® ENV R1™ as the Official Tire for the 2009 Patron GT3 Challenge by Yokohama race series. The ENV R1 is the first eco friendly tire to be used in series wide competition and reduces petroleum inputs by approximately 20 percent. Most recently between 2010-2012 Yokohama has won three more Canadian Rally Championships as well as three more North American Rally titles.