Yokohama AD08R: fully tested by Rezulteo
In the semi-slick tyre category, Yokohama has always set the benchmark. Its latest addition, the AD08R has a huge potential that we were able to appreciate in a Mitjet 2L during the endurance race held at the Magny-Cours circuit.
On the same topic
Japanese tyre manufacturer Yokohama offers an extensive and wide range of products. However, Yokohama’s reputation has been built on it high performance and ultra high performance ranges, and rightly so.
Find all the technical characteristics in the article we have already published.
A full-scale test
Yokohama France gave us the opportunity to test this tyre in optimal conditions: an endurance race held at the Magny-Cours circuit in a Mitjet; a special test format that allowed us to assess the tyre’s specific characteristics.
The AD08R may well be designed for sports cars, Yokohama allowed us to test it on a real racing car: a Mitjet 2L.
This prototype, built from a tubular chassis, is powered by a 4 cylinder, 2 litre engine from the Clio RS that produces more than 200 hp. A power transferred to the rear wheels via a sequential gearbox. In terms of weight, the car weighs almost 800 kg in running order.
Using a Mitjet has several advantages when assessing a passenger car tyre. First of all, the size and overall architecture of this car is quite similar to that of a passenger car. Then, the Mitjet will push the tyre to its limits in terms of grip, durability and wear given the format imposed.
The Mitjet’s were fitted with the AD08R, size 255 40R18. Each car was allocated 8 tyres that must last a full season, i.e. approximately 50 hours of driving in total spread over 7 races (tests, qualifications and the race).
Once the operation of the sequential gearbox understood, the Mitjet handles like any other sports car despite the rigour of its design. However, preliminary driving sessions are essential to become familiar with the circuit before the race starts.
The first qualification laps confirm that the Yokohama AD08R gets up to temperature quite quickly. A few bends are enough for the tyre to provide its maximum level of grip. The first test drive already gives a strong indication of the vehicle’s potential, its tyres and the overall consistency!
A pit stop to give our Mitjet an overall check-over showed that tyre wear was perfectly flat due to the neutral alignment and perfectly adjusted tyre pressures.
It was also the opportunity to determine the race strategy since I was sharing the bucket seat with a fellow journalist from the Motorsport magazine and Patrick Lhoste, CEO of Yokohama France. We agreed to take turns behind the wheel every 40 minutes, to drive 2 sessions of the 3 hour race.
Testing the AD08R during the race
Made up of experienced teams, the Formula Mitjet is no easy drive and this competition should be treated with the utmost respect, keeping in mind our objective to assess what the AD08R is capable of in extreme conditions.
As all track-days enthusiasts know, 40-minute sessions on a race track is difficult for a homologated tyre. The tyre usually ends up overheating with, as a direct consequence, its efficiency reduced to zero.
As such, we were ready to catch the Japanese tyre out (it must be said)! When it was my turn behind the wheel of the Mitjet, the tyres had already been raced for 1 hour. Yet, the tyres seemed just as smooth, precise and efficient as during the qualification phases.
In general, drivers use the first laps to find their marks on the circuit and settle into the pace of other participants. The Magny-Cours F1 track is demanding and designed for high powered cars as you can discover with the on-board camera footage:
Certain fast parts of the track are decisive for tyres. In particular, the large bend taken in 5th gear after the straight line comes to mind. In this fast section, the confident grip delivered by the AD08R is exemplary and precise. It takes position on the inside, delivers constant grip and allows you to anticipate the loss of grip.
In the Nürburgring and Imola chicanes, lateral control is difficult to fault, just like grip under heavy braking or the traction when accelerating out of bends.
The most impressive is the relatively low level of wear at the end of the race and above all, the propensity of the tyre to deliver constant grip lap after lap, despite an ambient temperature well above 30°C.
The experience is so unique and rewarding from a driving point of view that our team’s honourable mid-ranking finish remains somewhat anecdotal.
Live the race by viewing the slideshow:
On the whole, the results are positive, even very positive. The AD08R is versatile, durable and a high performer. It is an ideal product to satisfy sports car drivers looking for the ultimate product, such as track-day enthusiasts.
However, if the thrills and performance are partly related to the vehicles characteristics, in these conditions drivers will also find the tyre’s intrinsic properties on a passenger car but with some nuances depending on the vehicle’s architecture, weight or even alignment.
We would like to extend our special thanks to Patrick Lhoste from Yokohama France for allowing us to take part in the race and test the AD08R in exceptional conditions. Not forgetting the Mitjet organisation team and the other teams for their warm welcome and camaraderie.
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