Junod STA's racing director
INDIANA, Pa.—Specialty Tires of America Inc. (STA) has hired Scott Junod, formerly with Goodyear's motorsports division, to be director of racing for its Race Tires America division.
Mr. Junod previously was sales account manager for Goodyear's short track racing program, STA said.
His appointment underscores STA's commitment to strengthen its racing division and the American Racer brand in a continuing effort to promote and expand opportunities for the company's race tire business.
Mr. Junod joined Goodyear in 1985 in sales and marketing, commercial truck tires. He moved to Goodyear Racing in 2007 after holding various positions in human resources and industrial engineering, according to Goodyear.
Todd Rogers, an account manager for NASCAR, has assumed Mr. Junod's responsibilities at Goodyear.
Toyo adds contingency program
CYPRESS, Calif.—Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. has partnered with the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) to offer an open tire contingency program to all Enduro classes during the 2013 regional racing season.
The new contingency program is available immediately and, like all Toyo contingencies, will be offered to Enduro entrants competing on Toyo's Proxes tire line, the company said.
The new offering increases the available contingency from Toyo to $10 million in contingency value to NASA racers, Toyo said, noting the program also is available to current Toyo contingency participants in other classes. Product awards are available to competitors in addition to any regional Toyo contingency they may have qualified for during the same day.
Under the new program, racers who usually compete in a regional sprint racing class on Toyo tires and collect contingency are now eligible to join the ranks of the Enduro competitors and vie for contingency in those classes as well.
The contingency program will allow competitors using the Toyo Proxes R888, Proxes RA1 or Proxes RR competition tire to compete in each Enduro race for awards of $300, $200, $150, $100 and $75 in the form of “Toyo Bucks.” Awards go to the top five finishers in each race.
Marc Sanzenbacher, senior manager, Competition Performance Products Division for Toyo, said the new contingency offering “makes it even more rewarding for competitors to enjoy the durable, consistent and dependable Proxes lineup.”
Atturo speeds into 'Truck U'
BLAND, Mo.—Private brander Atturo Tire Corp. has launched a consumer media campaign as a sponsor of the Speed Channel's popular “Truck U” program.
Atturo-brand tires are being featured in three episodes as the TV show's principals modify a variety of vehicles. Truck U is a how-to show dedicated exclusively to trucks, 4x4s and SUVs, Atturo said. The show features monster-truck expert Matt Steele and mechanic Bruno Massel involved in hands-on projects crucial to serious off-roading and truck performance.
Atturo also will be a segment sponsor in a further six episodes, with Atturo-branded signage featured on the set, the company said. Episodes are set to air multiple times over the premium summer months.
“Atturo is reaching out directly to the consumer with a dedicated message that quality performance tires are available at affordable prices,” the company said. “Atturo is staking claim to the market segment above no-name Chinese products and mid-tier brands. By developing a mix of original equipment and aftermarket sizes with quality construction backed by a three-year warranty, the Atturo brand delivers performance within reach.”
The tire marketer's AZ800 was featured in the first Truck U episode on April 6. Subsequent episodes will include Atturo's Trail Blade M/T light-truck tire.
According to the SPEED Channel website, Truck U—in its fourth season on the network—promotes itself as helping “you take your truck to an entirely new level of appearance and performance. It's the ultimate how-to program for truck lovers.”
Toyo to sponsor 'Targa Trophy'
CYPRESS, Calif.—Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. has agreed to become a sponsor of the Targa Trophy, a series of nine car-culture events throughout Southern California, for 2013.
Toyo said Targa Trophy events include rallies that take participants to exclusive destinations, events and car corrals at some of the best lifestyle venues in the U.S.
The premier event is the Targa Trophy California 1000, an invitation-only, three-day rally running Sept. 19-21.
“Toyo Tires is excited to support the Targa Trophy series of events during 2013,” said Stan Chen, manager of events and motorsports, Toyo Tire U.S.A. “Targa Trophy reflects Toyo Tires' philosophy of being driven to pursue the automotive lifestyle to its fullest.”
During the 2013 Targa Trophy series, Toyo Tires said it will support each of the events as a series sponsor, while also being the official tire sponsor of the Targa Trophy Experience, during which Toyo Tires will have logo branding on all participating cars. Entries are estimated to be more than 150 vehicles.
Financial terms of the arrangement were not disclosed.
The first event—the German Car Festival in San Diego—took place March 23.
“Targa Trophy is extremely pleased to be working with Toyo Tires for our 2013 event season,” said Jason Overell, principal of Targa Trophy. “Toyo is at the leading edge of high-performance tires and is a perfect fit to complement our sports car driven lifestyle series of events.”
Anderson for Maxxis in LOORRS
SUWANEE, Ga.—R.J. Anderson, Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORRS) defending Pro Lite champion, will be riding on Maxxis International-USA's tires for the 2013 season.
The series' “Driver of the Year” in 2012, Mr. Anderson also was chosen by Dirt Sports magazine as its “Short Course Driver of the Year.” He told Maxxis' MaxxDaddy newsletter that thanks to the accolades, “It just amps up the pressure for this year.”
Beginning the season on a winning note, Max-xis said Mr. Anderson snagged a victory recently at LOORRS' Round 2, taking the win on Maxxis' Big-horn tires.
Like many drivers, Mr. Anderson, 20, comes from a racing family, Maxxis said. His father's been in off-road racing for 35 years and is crew chief for NASCAR and off-road racer Walker Evans.
The younger Anderson started racing trophy carts at age 14 and turned pro in 2011, competing in The Off-Road Championship's (TORC) Pro Light class. Maxxis said his entry to the pro ranks was a “great success,” with a second-place finish in points and being named “Rookie of the Year.”
When he isn't racing, Mr. Anderson works full-time at his father's shop, working on his truck and taking the time to test the vehicle a couple of times a week between rounds, according to Maxxis.
Besides LOORS and TORC competition, the tire marketer is involved in off-road racing, drifting, rock crawling and karting.
Hankook is official tire of FIA Junior WRC Championship
NEU-ISENBURG, Germany—Hankook Tire Europe GmbH has been named the official supplier for the 2013 FIA Junior WRC Championship season by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA).
Hankook said the Ford Fiesta R2 cars used in the series will race on Hankook's Ventus Z rally tires for dry and wet tarmac rallies and Ventus R for gravel events. Detailed tire specifications and the number of tires to be provided to competitors will be announced prior to each of the six rounds of the 2013 FIA Junior WRC Championship, Hankook said.
“We are delighted to have been selected as the official tire supplier to the 2013 FIA Junior WRC Championship. This is a prime opportunity for Hankook to demonstrate the quality and performance of our successful Ventus line of ultra-high-performance tires now on a global rally stage,” said Hee-Se Ahn, Hankook Tire vice president for marketing and sales in Europe.
“Applying the highest standards of quality in terms of safety, handling, performance and environmental friendliness is key to our development philosophy,” he added.
Mr. Ahn said the tire manufacturer is excited to “be part of this long-term strategy for the development of worldwide rallying talent and fully expects that the young drivers being put through their paces in this year's Junior WRC Championship will greatly appreciate the controlled driving experience that our tires provide.”
Jarmo Mahonen, FIA rally director added: “We are delighted to confirm Hankook Tire as the Official Tire Supplier to the 2013 FIA Junior WRC Championship. The company has developed a strong reputation for its motorsport products in recent years.
“In addition to their desire to demonstrate their products in one of the toughest environments in motorsport, Hankook has also embraced the concept of nurturing and educating the rallying stars of the future. We look forward to seeing them work alongside M-Sport and our 2013 crop of Junior WRC candidates.”
Junior WRC Rally races are:
c Acropolis Rally: May 31-June 2;
c Neste Oil Rally Finland : Aug. 1-3;
c ADAC Rallye Deutschland: Aug. 22-25;
c Rallye de France-Alsace: Oct. 3-6; and
c RallyRACC-Rally de Espana: Oct. 24-27.
Yokohama Rubber Co. forms separate motorsports unit
TOKYO—Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. is setting up a separate company, Yokohama Motorsports International Co. Ltd., to oversee its growing motorsports activities, including the development and supply of racing tires.
The new entity integrates the motorsports-related activities of the technology and planning divisions, which in the past have handled development and design of racing tires and team, event and public relations/advertising activities, respectively.
Combining the two will strengthen and sustain motorsports activities by building a stronger, streamlined organization able to make quicker decisions, YRC said.
The new company also plans to expand businesses by providing expert technology and know-how by developing consumer tires based on racing tire technology.
The new company, which is headed by Tetsuya Kuze, director and corporate officer, is capitalized at $105,000 and will have 20 employees, YRC said. It will be based at YRC's plant in Minatoku, Japan, near Tokyo.
Yokohama did not disclose any further financial details regarding the unit or its racing activities.
Among Yokohama's more prominent racing engagements are the Super GT series in Japan and the FIA World Touring Car Championship. It also is engaged in varios races and rallies held in Europe, North America and Asia.
In North America, Yokohama supports the American Le Mans Series' GTC class and IMSA GT3 Cup for Porsche 911s, supports one ALMS GT team and is active in various off-road racing and drifting series as well.
Special Goodyear NASCAR tire supports U.S. Armed Forces
AKRON—Goodyear has unveiled special commemorative tires it will supply for upcoming NASCAR races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The specially designated tires mark the fourth year of the Akron-based tire maker's “Gives Back” campaign—a multi-year fund-raising effort designed to generate support for the U.S. Armed Forces. Goodyear is the exclusive tire supplier of NASCAR's three major national series.
To date, the Give Back campaign has raised more than $700,000 in cash and product donations that have gone directly to supporting U.S. troops and their families, Goodyear said.
The company will replace its Goodyear “Eagle” and “Wrangler” sidewall designs with desert camouflage lettering reading “Support Our Troops” on its NASCAR race tires that will run during all of the upcoming NASCAR races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Goodyear said a number of initiatives for racing fans will be part of this year's Give Back program, including at-track activities—all to benefit the Support Our Troops organization.