CORR: Kumho expands involvement for 2002

FONTANA, CA...KUMHO Tire USA is expanding its involvement with the Championship Off-Road Racing (CORR) Lucas Oil Series in 2002 following a successful inaugural season in 2001. Last year Kumho sponsored the CORR Kumho Tire Rookie of the Year Award...

FONTANA, CA...KUMHO Tire USA is expanding its involvement with the Championship Off-Road Racing (CORR) Lucas Oil Series in 2002 following a successful inaugural season in 2001. Last year Kumho sponsored the CORR Kumho Tire Rookie of the Year Award and offered a contingency program to reward race winners who competed on Kumho tires.

Kumho claimed its first wins of 2001 at the final race weekend in Topeka, Kansas. Steve Socha scored Kumho's first overall win in the Single Buggy class, with Kumho HT tires on the front of his buggy and some creatively carved AT tires on the rear, and Mike Savage won in Sportsman2 driving a Ford F-150 on Kumho MT tires.

In 2002, Kumho will again sponsor the Kumho Tire Rookie of the Year Award and will also be an associate sponsor of the CORR Lucas Oil Series. In addition to renewing its contingency program, Kumho will also sponsor several drivers in their quests to become CORR champions.

Leading the pack of Kumho drivers will be Dan Vanden Heuvelthe Flying Dutchmana popular racer who competes in CORR's PRO-2 division in an 800 horsepower, two-wheel drive Chevrolet truck. An off-road racer for a dozen years, Vanden Heuvel is a proven winner and consistent top-five finisher. Joining the Dutchman in the Kumho racing stable will be Mark Krueger in PRO-Lite; Mike Oberg, Mike Savage and Jason Janusz in Sportsmen2; Scott Powell and Ryan Mulder in Super Buggy; and Steve Socha in Single Buggy.

"We're increasing our sponsorship because our first year effort in CORR exceeded our expectations," said Mike Leverington, Director of Marketing for KUMHO Tire USA. "We like the series because the competitors actually race on the same tires that consumers can purchase for their own vehicles. We can demonstrate the merits of our products while competing against some of the best tire manufactures in the world."

"We were fortunate to run with some good drivers last year, and their input helped accelerate our learning curve," noted Ed Cercek, Principal Engineer, LTR Development for Kumho. "We offered a full line of 15- and 16-inch RoadVenture HT, MT and AT tires for the Sportsman divisions last year. We'll offer the same full line this year, but our move to the PRO divisions required development of a 17-inch tire. We used the technology developed from our participation in the Paris-Dakar Rally as a starting point for our 17-inch tire, and off-season testing indicates we should be very competitive."

Leverington and Cercek both pointed out that even though 2002 is only Kumho's second year in the Championship Off Road Racing Lucas Oil Series, the company is committed to the series for the long haul, and that pleases CORR.

"We're glad to have Kumho on board because their presence offers more choices for our competitors and further strengthens our series," said Jamie Devney, CORR's Director of Marketing. "Our racers have been impressed with the Kumho tires and also with the sincerity of the Kumho people because they're dedicated to doing this."

In addition to its CORR racing activities, Kumho is involved in a variety of motorsports activities in the U.S. and beyond. Racers have competed on Kumho tires at several prestigious events, including: the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, the Tecate/SCORE Baja 2000, the Paris-Dakar Rally, Formula 3000 in Korea, the British Rally Championship, and SCCA Racing and Solo II.

The CORR Lucas Oil Series is a 16 race series that is rapidly growing in popularity. CORR races will be televised on Speed Channel (formerly Speedvision) this year. For more information on the CORR Lucas Oil Series, visit the series Web site at www.corracing.com.

Established in 1960, Kumho Tire is the tenth largest tire manufacturers in the world, with 2000 sales of $1.235 billion, and is owned by Kumho Industrial Company Ltd. of Seoul, South Korea. Kumho manufactures and distributes a complete line of tires for passenger cars, light trucks and heavy duty trucks. Kumho has manufacturing facilities in Korea and China and operates technical centers in Birmingham, England, and Akron, Ohio. For more information, visit the Kumho Web site at www.kumhotireusa.com.

-www.corracing.com-

Contact: Brad Folck

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