Klieman-TORC-Off-Road-4-19-13Wilson, MI (April 19, 2013) – After a nine year hiatus from off-road racing, Mark Kleiman reentered the world of TORC short-course off-road racing and immediately  grabbed the attention several veteran PRO-Light competitors. After knocking the rust off his driving on Friday , the former  three-time Sportsman Super Stock Truck Champion just missed finishing on the podium during Saturday’s PRO-Light eighteen lap feature.

The journey back to short-course racing began just after the first of the year, when Mark purchased Ross Hoek’s podium proven Ford Ranger Pro-Light. Unfortunately living in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, off-season testing just isn’t possible due to extreme cold temperatures and serious piles of snow.  So when it came to any testing, it consisted of a couple of minutes driving up and down the road in front of his house just before the race truck was loaded into the trailer for the eighteen hour trip to the TORC season opener in Kansas.

Best In The Desert’s Parker “425” was the season opener for KC Dirt Tribe off-road racers. This year’s race featured record breaking entries in many classes and KC Dirt Tribe racers came into Parker fully prepared to take on not only the competition but also the challenging Arizona desert at this legendary event.

KC Dirt Tribe driver Rob MacCachren got the race weekend started off in the right direction when he recorded the fastest lap among the 67 qualifiers at the time trials to capture the “Team Ford” Pole award in his number 6 Ford Trick Truck. Unfortunately, on race day Rob suffered an engine failure on the first of three laps while he was battling Robby Gordon for the lead. That left Dirt Tribe driver Jason Voss to take up the charge for the top spot. Jason chased Robby Gordon all day and stayed within striking distance, only 30 seconds behind. At the finish line, Gordon was issued a time penalty for a rules infraction. As a result, Jason Voss was officially declared first overall and Trick Truck class victor.

FULLERTON, CA. – Yokohama Tire Corporation-sponsored Cameron and Heidi Steele – the husband and wife team known as “off-road racing’s power couple” – will be back in action at the Best in the Desert’s 534-mile “Vegas to Reno” race, August 16-18. Cameron and Heidi will tackle “the longest off-road race in the U.S.” on Geolandar® tires.

Heidi, whose five off-road season championships include a 2008 Best in the Desert title, will be competing in her second race this year after becoming a mother in March. She placed second in June’s Baja 500 in a Ford Ranger equipped with off-the-shelf Geolandar M/T+® tires. She’ll be competing on the same tires in the 7200 Class at the Vegas to Reno contest.

Cameron, a Trophy Truck veteran and two-time SCORE Person of the Year, will be in an 800-horsepower Geiser Brothers truck fitted with newly-developed 40-inch Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S® R tires in the Trick Truck Class at the Nevada race.

“The long, demanding Vegas to Reno race will be a good test for Cameron and Heidi,” said Duane Sampson, Yokohama motorsports manager. “Their Geolandar tires were made to handle tough terrain like this.”

Yokohama Tire Corporation is the North American manufacturing and marketing arm of Tokyo, Japan-based The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., a global manufacturing and sales company of premium tires since 1917. Servicing a network of more than 4,500 points of sale in the U.S., Yokohama Tire Corporation is a leader in technology and innovation. The company’s complete product line includes the all-new AVID Ascend® –  the first mass-market tire using Yokohama’s breakthrough orange oil technology – as  well as tires for high-performance, light truck, passenger car, commercial truck and bus, and off-the-road mining and construction applications. For more information on Yokohama’s extensive product line, visit www.yokohamatire.com.

FULLERTON, CA – The return of five-time off-road champion Heidi Steele to pro racing after giving birth to her first child is presented in a new video by Yokohama Tire Corporation (YTC). The nine-minute video, created by Air, Land + Sea Films, is on YTC’s YouTube channel (and can be seen below).

“The video is beautifully shot and tells Heidi’s compelling, personal story,” said Andrew Briggs, director of product planning and motorsports for Yokohama, one of Heidi’s main sponsors. “People watching the video will learn, from Heidi’s perspective, what it’s like balancing motherhood with a professional racing career.”

Set against the recent SCORE (Southern California Off Road Enthusiasts) Baja 500 in Mexico – Heidi’s first race in seven months – the film follows Heidi, her husband Cameron (a Trophy Truck veteran and two-time SCORE Person of the Year) and their two-month-old daughter, Cameron Kay Steele.

CHANDLER, Ariz. – Brian Deegan claimed two Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series championships driving his Ford F-150 SVT Raptor to the Pro 2 Unlimited Championship and his Ford Ranger to the Pro Lite Unlimited title.  Deegan won a combined 12 races en route to the championships and tallied 21 podiums.

“It has been a really good season,” said Deegan. “I am so blessed when I just think about the position I am in life. What a year. I don’t know if I will ever be able to top it as far as sports. Ford backed me the whole way and I had to produce.  I had to show Ford I could win, and we did. X games and two championships here in Lucas Oil including Pro 2 in my rookie year as well as a lot of records set. It was a tough race, this last one, but this is about a whole season and I am just pumped. It has been a great year.”

“Ford has an long and storied history in off road truck racing from the deserts of Dakar to the brutality of Baja and from the Rough Riders to the recent success of The General, Brian Deegan,” said Jamie Allison, Director Ford Racing. “Together, Brian and Ford have had a phenomenal season in 2011 winning gold at X Games and dominating his Lucas Oil Off-Road programs.  We are proud to be able to call him a Ford champion.”

Deegan reclaims the Pro Lite Unlimited title that he won in 2009 and lost by 13 points in 2010. He also claims the highly competitive Pro 2 Unlimited championship in his rookie season of Pro 2 Unlimited.

A legend in freestyle motocross, Brian Deegan took a risky step as an action sport athlete three years ago embracing four wheels as he launched a Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series program and started his rallycross career. Deegan’s quest has resulted in a banner year in 2011 with a pair of LOORRS titles in to go with the X Games 17 RallyCross gold he won in July.  Deegan also received an invitation to the Race of Champions in Germany where he competed with racing champions like Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel.

“I feel like the true test of an athlete in this day and age is someone who can be a champion in multiple disciplines,” said Deegan. “I have been fortunate in my career with great partners like Rockstar and Ford who have given me opportunities to expand my career into other disciplines.”

For Ford Racing’s action motorsports program Deegan’s latest championships wrap up a successful 2011 season which the program accounted for seven championships.

* Tanner Foust, Ford Fiesta – Global RallyCross Super Rally Championship
* Tanner Foust, Ford Fiesta – Global RallyCross RallyCross Championship
* Tanner Foust, Ford Fiesta – Global RallyCross Championship Overall Champion
* Brian Deegan, Ford Fiesta – X Games RallyCross Champion
* Ford Motor Company – Global RallyCross Championship Manufacturers Champion
* Brian Deegan, Ford F-150 Raptor – Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series Pro 2 Unlimited Champion
* Brian Deegan, Ford Ranger – Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series Pro Lite Unlimited

FULLERTON, CA. – (Nov. 21, 2011) – Quite a week for Yokohama Tire Corporation-sponsored off-road racer Heidi Steele at the 44th annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 in Ensenada, Mexico.  She won her fourth SCORE (Southern California Off Road Enthusiasts) class title at the November 17-20 race, and announced she and her off-road racing husband, Cameron Steele, are expecting a baby in 2012.

By virtue of her fifth place finish over the treacherous 692.82-mile Baja course, San Clemente, California-based Heidi and her co-drivers Rene Brugger  and Pat Dailey captured the 2011 Class 6 SCORE title in a Ford Ranger riding on off-the-shelf Yokohama Geolandar M/T+® tires. The Desert Assassins trio finished the race in 23 hours, 40 minute and 48 seconds. Due to her pregnancy, Heidi only competed in part of the race.

“What an awesome year,” said Heidi, who won two races this season on route to her championship. “I can’t thank Rene and Pat enough, and Yokohama for their ongoing support and great tires. It takes a fantastic team to win a championship, and I have the best with the Desert Assassins.”

“We’re proud to be part of another Class 6 championship with Heidi and the Desert Assassins,” said Andrew Briggs, Yokohama’s senior manager of motorsports. “Heidi and Rene drove great all year and the Geolandar M/T+ tire performed flawlessly in some of the roughest terrain on the planet. It’s a testament to the tires and the team to lock this championship up at the Baja 1000. It’s the most difficult race of the season and everyone involved rose to the occasion. Rene again did a fantastic job and we were fortunate to have Pat Dailey drive in place of Heidi.”

Briggs also praised Cameron Steele, who along with co-drivers Rick Geiser, Josh Daniel and Pat Dean, campaigned two Trophy Trucks on newly developed 40-inch Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S® R tires specially engineered for extreme off-road conditions. Their 800-horsepower Geiser Bros. Trophy Truck finished in 10th place (12th overall in the race). Cameron – a Trophy Truck class veteran, TV commentator and two-time SCORE Person of the Year – and his crew completed the race in 17:07.

“Cameron, Rick and Josh drove the number 14 Trophy Truck to a top 10 finish on the new 40-inch Geolandar project tire and had no flats,” said Briggs. “The tires performed great over the course of the race on both Trophy Trucks. We were really pleased with the performance of the tires. We’ve come a long way in a very short time on the tire development and we are really excited about our prospects next season.”

This year’s running of the Baja 1000 featured 278 competitors from 34 states and 16 countries. The difficult course traveled from Ensenada through Ojos Negros, Laguna Salada, San Felipe, Erendira, Santo Tomas, Uruapan and back to Ojos Negros, covering much of the northern half of the Baja California peninsula.

Yokohama Tire Corporation is the North American manufacturing and marketing arm of Tokyo, Japan-based The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., a global manufacturing and sales company of premium tires since 1917. Servicing a network of more than 4,500 points of sale in the U.S., Yokohama Tire Corporation is a leader in technology and innovation. The company’s complete product line includes the dB Super E-spec™ – the world’s first tire to use orange oil to reduce petroleum – as well as tires for high-performance, light truck, passenger car, commercial truck and bus, and off-the-road mining and construction applications. For more information on Yokohama’s extensive product line, visit www.yokohamatire.com.

Connect with Yokohama Tire Corporation:
www.facebook.com/yokohamatirecorp
www.twitter.com/yokohamatc
www.youtube.com/user/yokohamamotorsports

FULLERTON, CA. – (Sept. 7, 2011) – Competing in Mexico has been extremely good for Yokohama Tire Corporation-sponsored off-road racer Heidi Steele. This year alone, she’s won the San Felipe 250 in March and was third in the Baja 500. Steele can add to her Mexico mastery and pad her lead in SCORE’s Class 6 with a win in the Tecate SCORE San Felipe Challenge of Champions, September 9-11, in San Felipe, Baja, California, Mexico.

“Mexico is my favorite place to race,” said Steele, who has won two Class 6 SCORE titles and one in Class 7 on off-the-shelf Yokohama Geolandar M/T+ tires. “The races there are always especially challenging and fun.”

Steele, along with co-driver and Desert Assassins teammate Rene Brugger, know the tough terrain in San Felipe: in March they drove her customary Ford Ranger to a Class 6 win in the MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250.

“I have a lot of confidence from the win in March, but we have to do some pre-running to decide on the best strategy,” said the San Clemente, California-based Steele. “Our preparation and equipment give us an advantage.

Steele said her Yokohama tires are vital equipment for the grueling 250-mile race. “It’s amazing that these Geolandar tires, which anyone can buy in a store, work so well. They have definitely been a major part of our success. The San Felipe course is actually tougher than Baja because it’s harder to see the rocks, so I’m glad we’re running on Yokohama tires.”

Yokohama Tire Corporation is the North American manufacturing and marketing arm of Tokyo, Japan-based The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., a global manufacturing and sales company of premium tires since 1917. Servicing a network of more than 4,500 points of sale in the U.S., Yokohama Tire Corporation is a leader in technology and innovation. The company’s complete product line includes the dB Super E-spec™ – the world’s first tire to use orange oil to reduce petroleum – as well as tires for high-performance, light truck, passenger car, commercial truck and bus, and off-the-road mining and construction applications. For more information on Yokohama’s extensive product line, visit www.yokohamatire.com.

SAN BERNARDINO, CALIFORNIA – Team Toyo® Off-Road driver, Kyle LeDuc, scored a victory this past Sunday during Round 6 of the Lucas Oil® Off-Road Series (LOORS) race at Glen Helen Raceway.  With only minutes to spare, and after repairing a broken driveshaft during a crash in qualifying, LeDuc won the Pro 4 Unlimited class with his Toyo® Open Country M/T®-R equipped #99 Rockstar / Makita / Toyo Tires Ford F-150.  LeDuc soon interrupted his victory celebration in order to race in the Pro Lite Unlimited class where he scored a second place finish.

LeDuc started the weekend by qualifying fastest on Friday in both Pro 4 Unlimited and Pro Lite Unlimited.  During Saturday’s Round 5, he scored a third place finish in Pro Lite Unlimited with his Rockstar / Makita / Toyo Tires Ford Ranger equipped with D.O.T.-legal Toyo Open Country M/T® tires.  On hand to witness the exciting action was Mr. Yasushi Takagi, president and CEO, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp.

“It was a struggle to fix our driveshaft on time to even make the Pro 4 Unlimited race,” said LeDuc.  “We then went from celebrating with the champagne on the podium, to racing in the next Pro Lite race and heading right back to the same podium for our fans.  Our Toyo Open Country tires helped us capture our three podium finishes during the weekend.”

“Congratulations to Kyle LeDuc on scoring his Pro 4 win and an amazing three podiums during a single race weekend,” said Stan Chen, manager of events and motorsports, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp.  “We are proud that both our racing and off-the-shelf Open Country tire products were a part of this effort.”

To learn more about Kyle LeDuc and the Open Country line of light truck tires, log onto www.toyotires.com.  Toyo Tires manufactures and distributes a complete line of premium replacement tires for high performance cars, luxury vehicles, light trucks and SUVs as well as tires for commercial trucks.  Connect with the community at www.facebook.com/toyotires and www.twitter.com/toyotires.