The 24 Hours of Lemons earlier in February announced its partnership with Yokohama Tires as the official tire of Lemons. It’s a fairly unexpected move from the company that is the title sponsor of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA (by Yokohama), so the sponsorship agreement with Lemons naturally prompted a lot of questions from Lemons racers. Naturally, Lemons HQ decided to answer most of these questions here so that everybody is as up to speed as we are.
First of all, why?
We haven’t the faintest idea why Yokohama is doing this.
No, I meant ‘Why is Lemons selling out?’
Because all hipsters sell out eventually. Yokohama simply showed up first with brick-phones, shoulder-padded suits, and briefcases full of cash pulled from the trunk of an E30 Convertible. We’ve seen enough ‘80s movies to know that’s how business is done and you can’t say no to it. Even the main character from “Sixteen Candles” sold out.
Does Yokohama even know what Lemons is?
One of Yokohama’s marketing people raced Mike “Spank” Spangler’s Austin Mini Moke (above) a few years ago. We’re not sure if that answers the question or not. Let’s go with “Maybe.”
Will Yokohama Tires be mandatory?
Not at all. You can keep running whatever you want, from the Spec Land Yacht tire of choice to the One Tire To Rule Them All. If you do run Yokohamas on your heap, though, Lemons HQ and the judges may very well write about your car or post about it on social media. If you’re at one of the six races with Yokohama’s name in it, you might even score some free (Read: “low-to-medium-quality”) swag.
Do we have to run Yokohama decals in some specific place on the car?
Pffft…like Lemons wants to police that. We have a hard enough time getting you fools to make numbers right. “Hell no” is the correct phrasing for this answer, we believe.
Can we at least get some Yokohama stickers?
Sure. We know Lemons racers love few things more than free stickers, so we’ll see if we can dig some of those up for you to “repair” Swiss-cheese fenders or to put on the backs of your teammates’ driver suits when they’re not looking. (Please don’t use them to make your car numbers.)
You know us well. Speaking of free stuff, will we get free Yokohama tires?
No, but you can probably borrow the ones from your neighbor’s daily driver for free, though. Don’t actually
get caught when you do that.
Ok, how about discounted Yokohama tires then?
Yes…eventually. Lemons and Yokohama are still ironing out some wrinkles in that process, but we will have a tire discount. Yokohama assures us that check is in the mail. Or it’s headed to Mali. Neither is more likely than the other.
What about contingency money?
If you mean the coffee can full of silver dollars under the bed in case of cataclysmic events with the sudden necessity for hard currency, then tires might be the least of all our concerns.
No, I mean payouts for people who win on Yokohama tires.
Oh, that contingency money. Seeing as we still don’t care who wins Lemons races: No.
Is there a specific tire that Lemons or Yokohama would recommend?
Not really a specific tire, no. While they have two different 200 UTQG (i.e. treadwear rating) tires, the selection is somewhat limited by size. Yokohama has lots of information on their website written in Tire Guy Speak. We asked them to translate that to Lemonsish:
All season tire: Slower but good in a snow race
Summer tire: Getting warmer and faster
ADVAN A052 or Neova AD08R: These will quickly show you the next failure point of your car.”
I saw Yokohama had some 180-treadwear tires that were recently changed to 200. If I get a set of the older 180 UTQG tires, can I run those?
If the treadwear number is 180 on the sidewall, then no. Our rule is 190 or higher and it ain’t changin’.
I heard something about Yokohama defiling the sacrosanct names of Lemons races. Is that true?
Yes, Yokohama gets to put their name on six (6) races this year. Here they are:
March 24-25 Sonoma Raceway (Sonoma, CA) – Sears Pointless at HooptieCon Confusingly Presented by Yokohama
April 14-15 Autobahn Country Club (Joliet, IL) – The Yokohama Joliet Prison Break
May 19-20 Thunderhill Raceway (Willows, CA) – Vodden The Hell Are We Doing Devilishly Presented by Yokohama
Sept 29-30 Buttonwillow Raceway (Buttonwillow, CA) – Button Turrible Bafflingly Presented by Yokohama
Nov 10-11 MSR Houston (Angleton, TX) – Yokohama Stuntin & Splodin Soiree
Dec 8-9 Road Atlanta (Braselton, GA) – Yokohama
500 300 150 Good Try
You let Yokohama rename the Kim Harmon Scrotium 500?! You monsters!
That one took extra briefcases full of cash and quaaludes. So many quaaludes.
Smart move on their part. The name isn’t even that dumb. Is Yokohama ever going to be at the track?
For the six races with their names on it, Yokohama will be around the paddock. For example, they’re planning to have a full tractor-trailer setup for Sears Pointless at HooptieCon Confusingly Presented by Yokohama so that they can mount tires—whichever tires you bring them—on your battered old wheels. They’ll have a bunch more stuff at their trailer setup, but we know tire-mounting is what you’ll be excited about. That and more free stickers, probably.
That doesn’t sound too awful, actually. [Editor’s Note: Substitute “Y U RUNE RACE SERIES!?” as you see fit]
All hail our new corporate overlords!