SANTA ANA, Calif. — Yokohama Tire Corp. has signed on as the official tire sponsor of the 24 Hours of Lemons, an endurance auto race series that features cars purchased for $500 or less, not including the cost of tires, wheels and safety equipment.
Fardad Niknam, Yokohama's senior director of consumer product planning and product marketing, said the deal includes naming rights to 19 of the series' U.S. races, those with names such as "Button Turrible," "Southern Discomfort," and "Pacific Northwest GP."
"... That's part of the charm," he said. "It's what makes the 24 Hours of Lemons so cool."
The event, created by longtime automotive journalist Jay Lamm, has featured a variety of vehicles including run-down stretch limos, junked Maseratis and beat-up BMWs, Toyotas and Ford Mustangs.
"Even really bad cars deserve really good tires," Lamm said. "Listen, Lemons racers need all of the help they can get and I'm delighted that Yokohama is onboard and giving us some credibility."
Yokohama, likewise, is happy to be on board.
"This will be a wild series," Mr. Niknam said. "It's unconventional to say the least, but everyone has a good time and it's certainly the first racing series we've been involved with where the tires cost more than the cars."