Media information: 11 October 2011
Toshi Arai topped the IRC Production Cup at the RACMSA Rally of Scotland on 7-9 October 2011 as Japanase tyre manufacturer YOKOHAMA underlined its ongoing commitment to rallying.
A veteran with over 15 years' experience, Arai sealed a season best ninth overall during the three day event, negotiating the 15 gravel stages in a total time of 2:03:34.8 to earn his top ten finish and win his class.
Arai took advantage of misfortune for Jarkko Nikara, who led the class after 12 stages. Nikara, competing for the first time on YOKOHAMA’s rally tyre, the ADVAN A053, spun his Ralliart Mitsubishi Lancer into a ditch and was forced to retire on stage 13.
Nikara, whose class included British Rally Champion David Bogie, secured the Colin McRae IRC Flat Out Trophy for his efforts in Scotland. The award is given to the weekend’s most spectacular driver, and Nikara’s pace prior to his retirement was more than enough to convince the judges that he deserved the trophy.
"We've been developing the A053 for about two years now and the pace shown by Jarkko was outstanding for a production car,“ said YOKOHAMA Technical Consultant Ian Beveridge. "It's even more special when you consider that he‘d never even driven on our tyres before.
"For a tyre that is effectively an off-the-shelf product with a few modifications to have dominated the IRC Production Cup and earned Nikara an award is very encouraging for YOKOHAMA."
Japan‘s Fumio Nutahara also entered the challenging rally, securing a credible 15th position to earn third in his class, while the all-Italian pairing of Marco Cavigioli and co-pilot Giancarla Guzzi finished 18th of the 38-strong field.
Also competing on A053 tyres were Burcu Çetinkaya and co-pilot Çiçek Güney, who formed the IRC’s first female team in 2010. The duo made good progress in their Skoda Fabia S2000, but unfortunately had to retire on stage 10 when the car developed steering issues.
Çetinkaya will next race at the last rally of the IRC season in Cyprus on 3-5 November 2011, again competing on YOKOHAMA tyres.
Notes to editors
The YOKOHAMA Rubber Company is one of the seven largest tyre manufacturers in the world.
YOKOHAMA is the official tyre supplier for:
FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) – since 2006
European Touring Car Cup (ETCC) – since 2005
European Production Series (EP-Series) – new from 2011
Intercontinental Rally Challenge  (IRC) – since 2007
Scandinavian Touring Car Championship (STCC) – since 2010
Russian Touring Car Championship (RTCC) – since 2006
Chinese Touring Car Championship (CTTC) – since 2010
German SEAT León Supercopa – since 2006

International Formula 3 Grand Prix Macau – since 1983
International Formula 3 Grand Prix Pau – new from 2011

ATS German Formula 3 – until 2005 and since 2007

Japanese Formula 3 – new from 2011