Australian National Racing Series
Yokohama has been a big part of Australian Motorsport for decades. The Japanese tyre brand has a strong motorsport heritage involving Formula 3, Australian Rally Championship and Two Litre Touring Cars.
Yokohama race tyres have even won the great race at Bathurst. The James Hardie 1000 on the Holden VK Commodore of Allan Grice in 1986. Then the Tooheys 1000 on the Nissan GTR of Mark Skaife and Jim Richards. This was perhaps the most controversial race ever. Due to a heavy storm the race finished under red flag on the 143rd lap with the Nissan into the wall on Conrod straight.
The premier category using Yokohama tyres is the Australian V8 Ute series. They are one of the most popular support categories for V8 Supercars and they play by the rule that "rubbing is racing". If a ute finishes a race with both its door mirrors still on then they haven't been trying hard enough.
The V8 Ford Falcon XR8 utes and Holden Commodore SS utes use a special the Yokohama ADVAN A048 semi slick tyre. They don't use a normal ADVAN A048 they use a 235/40R18 with a special Orange Oil motorsport compound.
At around 1800 kilos these are the heaviest cars in Australian Motorsport. They give the comparatively skinny Medium Hard compound tyres a very hard time, especially with the hot temperatures at the Darwin round. Year after year they have proven the Yokohama tyre's durability and amazing ability to cope with heat.
Another popular V8 Supercar support category are the Aussie Racing Cars. These are possibly the lightest cars in Australian Motorsport. They also use the Yokohama ADVAN A048 semi slick / R spec tyre. With a 205/60R13 size tyre they're probably over-tyred but it works. Drivers race incredibly closely and it's not uncommon to see 4 cars abreast coming into a corner. Drivers can often lock the brakes and keep racing on these tyres whereas many less durable tyres would be flat-spotted and the competitor would have no choice but return to the pits.
In every state of Australia there's an Improved Production Racing Association State Body conducting a state based championship. Once a year they all get together for the IPRA nationals which Yokohama sponsors to help make it happen.
Old cars like series 2 Mazda RX7s from 1982 have been very successful in IPRA races due to their light weight, high horsepower rotary engines and years of development. However, the category is now seeing a lot more modern turbo 4WD cars competing.
The wide variety of Yokohama tyre sizes suits the wide variety of cars in the category. The category used to use the ADVAN A048, but in 2012 they switched to the ADVAN A050 and lap times tumbled. With softer compounds the ADVAN A050 is faster but less durable on some of the heavier, high horsepower cars. So tyre management and set-up is as important as ever.