The World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) moves to Monza, Italy, for the last European races, and presents a challenge to sole tyre supplier Yokohama. The Monza circuit, with its long straights and slow corners, represents a big problem for the drivers, who will need to gain maximum traction from their Yokohama Advan tyres.
Yokohama’s tyre engineer, Mr S Watanabe, explained, “In order to be competitive on the long straights, single-seaters rely on a low downforce set-up. This means that in slow corners the tyres have to work harder than usual to generate grip as they are receiving less help from the car’s aerodynamics. Touring cars run a simpler aerodynamic package so their grip levels will not be affected as much, but the track’s slow corners mean that there is a high traction demand on the rear tyres regardless. In addition, the circuit’s surface is also challenging; the older areas of the track are quite rough whilst other parts have been resurfaced recently and are much smoother”.
Monza will host the last two European races of the season before the WTCC circus moves on to Japan and Macau for the penultimate and final races of the year. These races will decide the winner of the drivers’ title, which is being contested by Chris van der Drift and Michael Ammermuller.