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.