Hankook Tire Announces 2010 Motorsports Sponsorships
Hankook Looks to Carry Winning Standard into 2010 Season
LAS VEGAS, Nov. 5, 2009 -- After celebrating its most successful motorsports season to date, Hankook Tire plans to get back on the track in 2010, continuing its participation in professional drifting and time attack competition and re-establishing a contingency reward program for grassroots motorsports enthusiasts.
Hankook's Formula Drift sponsored drivers climbed onto the podium in six out of seven races in the 2009 season with the successful debut of the Ventus R-S3 high-performance race tire. With six podium finishes last season, the Ventus R-S3 is one of the premier tires in Formula Drift competition. Hankook applied its latest motorsports technology to improve dry-grip performance by 30 percent; further enhancing the tire's handling capabilities.
In 2010 Hankook will once again sponsor Formula Drift's Team Papadakis and Dynamic Autosports, and will expand its stable of teams to include Conrad Grunewald Racing. Team driver and owner Conrad Grunewald will drive one of the few American muscle cars in Formula Drift -- a 2010 Camaro SS equipped with a set of Hankook Ventus R-S3's.
"Conrad is a proven drift racer and intense competitor," said Jason Kim, motorsports marketing manager, Hankook Tire America Corp. "We are confident he will prove to be a valuable addition to our team and will contribute to Hankook's growing success in motorsports."
Dynamic Autosports returns with its current driver line-up -- 2009 Rookie of Year Eric O'Sullivan, Robbie Nishida and Ryuji Miki. O'Sullivan will pilot the Rockstar Energy Drink/Hankook Tire Subaru WRX Sti, looking to claim his first win in his sophomore season. Robbie Nishida once again will be behind the wheel of Dynamics' Nissan 350Z while Ryuji Miki will navigate his A'PEXi/Hankook Mazda RX-7.
"Hankook is a valued sponsor, and its racing tires have contributed greatly to our team's growing success over the duration of our partnership," said Eddie Kim, owner, Dynamic Autosports. "We look forward to adding to that winning record in 2010. We can't wait to get Robbie, Eric and Ryuji back on the track with a set of Ventus R-S3's under them after last season's breakout performances."
Hankook also will continue to sponsor former two-time Formula Drift champion Tanner Foust in his Rockstar/Scion tC, as he looks to capture his third Formula Drift title.
In time attack, Hankook's 2010 driver line-up includes Gary Sheehan from GST Motorsport, Jonathan Bomorito from Sierra Sierra Enterprise and World Racing's Chris Rado.
All of Hankook's time attack drivers will compete on Hankook's Ventus Z214 DOT R Compound tires. The Ventus Z214 DOT R offers a symmetric tread design and utilizes a smooth tread surface with two longitudinal tread grooves for outstanding performance on the circuit in both dry and damp conditions.
"Each year drifting, time attack and grassroots motorsports -- including club racing and autocross competitions -- continue to grow and gain popularity in the U.S. and influence the marketplace," said Bill Bainbridge, director of brand communications, Hankook Tire America Corp. "This is in spite of these challenging economic times. Hankook will continue to be a leading next-generation tire maker in this arena, producing class-leading technology and delivering cutting-edge products like the Ventus R-S3 and Ventus Z214 to meet the demands of enthusiast consumers."
Details of Hankook's 2010 contingency rewards programs for SCCA and NASA members will be announced in January.