To further strengthen its motorsports activities in India and gain a stronger footing in future car rallies, Yokohama India Pvt Ltd, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Japanese Tyre major Yokohama, has announced the launch of Team Yokohama for Motorsports 2015 in India.
Team Yokohama will compete in the 1600 CC, 2000 CC categories of the Indian Rally Championships (INRC). The team consists of experienced rallyists. Driver – Rahul Kanthraj & co-driver – Vivek Bhatt driving a Mitsubishi Cedia, competing in the 2000 CC and driver Karna Kadur + co-driver M Chandrashekar competing in 1600 CC on a Volkswagen Polo.
Yokohama will also support Prithvi Domnic and co-driver Pruthvi Ithal in the 2000 CC. Dominic is a Yokohama tyre dealer in Bengaluru and a motorsports enthusiast.
According to Sanjay Chatterjee, General Manager, Yokohama India Pvt Ltd, "The company will spend Rs 50 lakh and provide 50 tyres for the team. We have been providing tyre support and participating in various motorsports events in India from 2008."
Takeshi Harada, Director (Sales & Marketing),Yokohama India, while introducing the team said, “Yokohama has completed 10 years as a sole tyre supplier to World Touring Car Championships (WTCC), a FIA World Championship. Therefore, for us participating in the IRC (Indian Rally Championship) was a foregone conclusion as motorsports is today part of the Yokohama philosophy.”
From 2008 -2010 Yokohama had been the official tyre partner to Red Rooster racing for IRC events. The results during that partnership were encouraging. From 2008, Yokohama Tyre-supported cars have been on the podium at the Raid De Himalaya, considered among the toughest of rallies.
Yokohama’s IRC 2014 saw the team winner in the 2000 CC category, team winner in the 1600 CC and Rahul Kanthraj as best driver in the 2000 CC.
The duo of Rahul Kanthraj and Vivek Bhatt started rallying in the year 2000 and has participated in over 75 rallies. Together they have won 4 Group and National championships and finished runners up on 4 other occasions. They will participate in the 2000 CC Category.
Participating in the 1600 CC Category, Karna Kadur, who has been part of over 95 (2& 4 Wheel) events and has won 2 National Championship Titles and 12 National event wins. He has had 80 podiums finishes with his co-driver M Chandrashekar.