-- 2008 ALMS Effort a Three-Way Partnership --
29, 2008 (Sebring, Fla). MAZDASPEED
Motorsports Development used the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) Winter Test to
unveil their 2008 colors, reflecting the addition of two new partners. BP
and Yokohama Tire Corporation have joined the B-K Motorsports Lola B07/46-Mazda
MZR-R LMP2 team with multi-year partnerships.
This is not just a sponsorship arrangement -
both partners will be key contributors to the team’s overall program with both
technical and marketing collaboration. BP is a global energy leader with
extensive experience with alternative and future fuels and lubricants.
With the “greening” of the ALMS series, BP’s direction will
complement the Mazda program. Yokohama has a storied history
in motorsports and has multiple past collaborations
with Mazda for production and motorsports
programs. Mazda and Yokohama have enjoyed joint
success and are looking to build on that foundation.
Key BP Points:
The ALMS program is part of a larger partnership
Alternative and renewable fuels research – first
shown with the Furai concept car at the North
American International Auto Show.
Castrol lubricants will be available at Mazda
dealership service centers.
Joint marketing and co-branding programs,
including events and outreach that teach race fans about the importance of
quality fuel as it relates to engine performance.
The BP commitment to the environment and
renewable fuels, and their ongoing search for realistic alternative fuels
aligns perfectly with the Mazda “sustainable Zoom Zoom”
mission, especially based on today’s industry landscape. In addition,
the American Le Mans Series allows Mazda and BP to showcase solutions for
relevant fuel solutions like the ALMS Green Racing Challenge.
Castrol sees the endurance-racing arena as a
perfect venue to further test lubricants, and the addition of this relationship
complements their existing motorsports activities.
This is the BP brand’s first involvement with motorsports in the U.S.
BP is currently active in motorsports with their
Castrol lubricants brand and has had past motorsports
programs with Amoco.
Key Yokohama Tire Corporation
devote critical resources towards development and service of the tires
supporting the Mazda team:
engineer and construct an all-new purpose-built LMP2 tire under the company’s
flagship brand, ADVAN. Yokohama has a
strong history in the ALMS, including the 2004 LMP2 Championship, and is
confident in their ability to challenge the class leader.
support the BK Motorsports Team at all races and tests with a full engineering
and service team hailing from the United
States and Japan.
The engineering partnership between Mazda and Yokohama is
strong on both the passenger car and motorsport sides. Yokohama tires
are OE fitment on multiple Mazda vehicles around the world, including the MX-5
Miata in the USA.
consumer and dealer ride-and-drive programs with RX-8s are under development to
reinforce the connection between motorsports and
passenger cars. These programs will be announced at a later date.
been recognized in Japan as one
of the ten most environmentally-conscious companies in the country. All of its
factories are ISO 14001 certified, and those in Japan have achieved zero
emissions one year ahead of the Kyoto Protocol. Yokohama is
continuously developing its manufacturing and technology to produce tires that
minimize environmental impact.
Key Mazda Points:
This is the second year of competition for the
MZR-R engine. 2007 was a development year for the all-new engine that was
designed and constructed in just 17 weeks.
B-K Motorsports will remain the primary
development team for the MZR-R engine. Jamie Bach and Ben Devlin return
as the primary drivers. A third driver for Sebring and the Petit Le Mans
will be announced at a later date.
Lease programs for the Mazda MZR-R engine are
available for qualifying motorsports customers.
“A key to MAZDASPEED’s
motorsports success has been with strategic partners
who have same passion for excellence as Mazda. BP and Yokohama will be
active partners in our ALMS program as we enter our sophomore year with our
Mazda MZR-R powered program, and we look forward to our most successful ALMS
project yet,” Robert Davis, Senior Vice President,
Product Development and Quality, and the man responsible for Mazda’s North
American motorsports operations under the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development
“Just like our need for the best drivers and
best engineers, a team needs the best partners. We are thrilled to have
BP and Yokohama working with us to move the Mazda powered B-K Motorsports team
to the front of the pack,” Robert Bach, Owner, B-K Motorsports
“BP’s fundamental values are to be performance
driven, innovative, progressive and green,” said Kevin Phelan, Senior Vice
President of Marketing and Cards. “And we’re excited to be partners with
the American Le Mans Series, Mazda and B-K Motorsports, who operate under very
much the same guiding principles.”
“Yokohama is happy to be reunited
with our friends at Mazda. There are many who recall our past successes
with RX-7s in IMSA GTU racing. The challenges in ALMS are huge, but we
are looking forward to the opportunity to showcase our latest ADVAN tires
against the best in the world,” said Fred Koplin, Director, Marketing Communications, Yokohama Tire
On any given weekend, there are more Mazdas on the road-race tracks of America than any other brand of
vehicle. At the track, you’ll see MX-5 Miata, RX-8, MAZDA3, MAZDA6, RX-7 and other vintage Mazda models competing, because every Mazda
has the Soul of a Sports Car. In fact, the largest road-racing class in
the U.S. is the SCCA’s Spec Miata class, with over 1,500 first- and
second-generation Miatas tearing up America’s racetracks, making it
the most-raced production car in the world. Mazda’s involvement in motorsports extends to its relationship with Mazda Raceway
Laguna Seca, one of the world’s premier road-racing circuits, and the Skip Barber Schools for driving and racing.
Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., Mazda North American
Operations oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of
Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada and Mexico through nearly 900
dealers. Operations in Canada are managed
by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario, Canada, and in Mexico
by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.
BP markets more than 15 billion gallons of
gasoline every year to U.S. consumers through
13,000 BP and ARCO branded retail outlets and supplies more than four billion
gallons of fuel annually to fleets, industrial users, auto and truck
manufacturers, railroads and utilities.
BP is the single, global brand formed by the
combination of the former British Petroleum, Amoco Corporation, Atlantic
Richfield (ARCO) and Burmah Castrol. BP is a global
producer, manufacturer and marketer of oil, gas, chemicals and renewable energy sources.
About Yokohama Tire Corporation:
Yokohama Tire Corporation is the North American
manufacturing and marketing arm of Tokyo, Japan-based Yokohama Rubber Co.,
Ltd., a global producer and distributor of premium tires since 1917. Servicing
a network of more than 4,500 points of sale in the U.S., Yokohama Tire
Corporation offers a complete line of tires, including high-performance, light
truck, passenger car, commercial truck and bus, as well as off-the-road mining and construction
applications. For details on Yokohama’s environmental
efforts, go to www.ecotreadsetters.com.