Motorsport News - Rally
Maiden 2012 IRC class win for Yokohama with Nikara in San Marino
11th July 2012
Last weekend saw the first win for Yokohama-shod Jarkko Nikara in the 2012 Intercontinental Rally Challenge Production Cup, claiming the class win and an impressive 5th overall on the San Marino Rally. Nikara and co-driver Jarkko Kalliolepo led the event from the first stage in their Tommi Makinen Racing Subaru Impreza R4 and claimed the Japanese brand's first event win of 2012 with a margin of more than four minutes.
As it transpired, the road conditions were not as the majority of teams and crews expected, with tighter and twistier stages forming the event rather than the fast and flowing roads from pervious years. And it was the second day of the event that would prove the greatest challenge, featuring one loop of five stages without service.
The young Finn knew that to ensure success, he needed to gauge his pace and ensure that he didn't make any mistakes or cause any damage to his Yokohama A053 tyres on roads becoming rougher with the passing of every car.
Not only did he set the fastest Production Cup time on all but two of the event's 13 times tests, he was also consistently well inside the top ten overall stage times, no mean feat considering the quality of the entries on the event.
By the time he reached the finish of the event, he was fifth overall, with a gap to sixth place and second in Production Cup of more than four minutes.
Speaking at the finish, he said; "It's been a tough weekend and the second day was very tough. After the first loop this morning, I was just driving for the finish. The road conditions were very bad so I took it very easy through the stages. But I am very happy that we are here. The team did a great job all weekend and the Yokohama tyres worked well. So it all came together."
Yokohama technician Ian Beveridge said; "This year's event was quite different to what we have seen in the past. The stages tended to be twistier than in previous years and for the Group N and R4 cars in particular, this placed a greater strain on tyres than the lighter Super 2000 cars.
"However, we used the development medium compound tyre on both Toshi and Jarkko's cars for the majority of the event and switched to the hard compound for the final loop, of five stages totalling almost 60Km and this was definitely the right way to go."
Reigning Production Cup champion Toshi Arai, partnered by Dale Moscatt, suffered a suspension failure on their sister car on the way to the fourth stage of the event and hence, were unable to finish.
The next outing for the Yokohama-shod Subaru team will be in October, when they tackle the San Remo Rall
TAGGED AS :
11th May 2013
29th April 2013
17th April 2013
19th March 2013
7th February 2013
6th January 2013more client news...
Search all Racecar clients