PARIS—The Federation International de l'Automobile has confirmed an expanded role for Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. as the designated race tire supplier for the revamped World Touring Car Cup and associated racing series for the next two seasons.
The deal builds on Yokohama's exclusive supply contract for the FIA's global touring car series for the past dozen seasons.
At the same time, the series is adopting new regulations that incorporate the rules and regulations of the TCR, a similar series established in 2014 in Europe and now active in multiple markets globally.
The revamped WCTR will use TCR technical regulations under a two-year licensing agreement between the FIA, WTCR promoter Eurosport Events Ltd. and WSC, owner of the TCR concept and trademark.
The TCR regulations cover front-wheel-drive sedans powered by 2-liter turbocharged engines. The 2018 rules allow for starting grids of 28 cars—26 reserved for teams dedicated to running the entire series and two wild card entries to be determined on a race-by-race basis.
Yokohama will supply Advan A005 and 006 racing tires as the dry- and wet-surface options, respectively, in size 250/660R18.
As part of the agreement, the TCR International Series, WTCC and FIA European Touring Car Cup will be discontinued in 2018 and 2019. At the same time, the new deal obligates Yokohama to become the race tire supplier for TCR racing series in Europe, Benelux, Portugal, United Kingdom and the Middle East.
The organizers thus far have approved 20 car models from 11 manufacturers—Alfa Romeo, Audi, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Opel, Peugeot, Seat, Subaru and Volkswagen—to compete in the new series.
The series has scheduled nine race weekends—with one more to be added—starting April 7-8 in Marrakech, Morocco, and finishing Nov. 15 on the streets of Macau. The series also will race at circuits in Argentina, China, Japan, Hungary, Germany, Netherlands and Portugal.
In North America, the International Motor Sport Association has added a TCR class to its IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, running alongside the existing Grand Sport and Street Tuner classes.