WAYNE, N.J., October 21, 2009 - Hankook Tire is celebrating its most successful Formula Drift season to-date after a podium finish by Tanner Foust at the Formula Drift season finale. The win ties Hankook with Falken and Maxxis for the most podium finishes by a tire maker for the year with each recording 6 podiums in 7 races.*
The season marks Hankook’s best performance in Formula Drift since its entry in 2007. In its third year as an associate series sponsor, Hankook claimed one victory, two second place finishes and three third place finishes. They closed out the season with four consecutive podium finishes and notched another milestone by putting three different drivers on the podium in one season.
“Hankook strives to deliver cutting-edge products to our Formula Drift drivers, as they do battle in this highly-competitive, growing sport,” said Bill Bainbridge, director of brand communications, Hankook America Corp. “This season’s results are a testament to our drivers, teams and the performance of Hankook’s Ventus R-S3.”
All of Hankook’s drivers raced with the new Ventus R-S3 high performance tire. Hankook has applied its latest motorsports technology to improve dry-grip performance by 30 percent, further enhancing the tire’s handling capabilities.
“This was a great season for the Rockstar/Scion team and Hankook,” said Foust. “In a series with more tire manufacturers than any other motorsport, the Hankook R-S3’s performance never failed to impress me when stacked against the competition. The Ventus R-S3 provides outstanding grip while maintaining great control. With six podium finishes this season alone, it’s obvious this tire’s a winner.”
All four Hankook drivers finished in the top 20 in the overall points standings. In addition to Foust, Hankook drivers Robbie Nishida finished 8th, Ryuji Miki was 16th and Rookie of the Year driver Eric O’Sullivan was 18th. O’Sullivan is the first Hankook driver to win Rookie of the Year honors. He dominated the category with 332.25 points and an impressive second place podium finish in his first year.
“We’re very excited about the results from both our drivers, Robbie Nishida and Eric O’Sullivan,” said Eddie Kim, owner, Dynamic Autosports. “With the help of Hankook’s Ventus R-S3, we’ve been able to rack up multiple podium finishes along with Rookie of the Year honors for Eric. The Hankook tire’s winning capability has been on display time and again this season.”
Despite scorching heat and a Los Angeles Angels pennant race happening just blocks away, a sold out crowd was on hand to witness the final race of the year, known as “Judgment Day.” Emotions were running high as multiple drivers were still in the running for the championship. When the smoke cleared Foust was just edged out by Tyler McQuarrie and first-place finisher, Ryan Turek. All Hankook drivers finished in the top 32 at Irwindale.
Foust finished 6th in the drivers’ championship in his first year competing on Hankook tires.
*Hankook Podium Finishes
• Round 1 - Long Beach, Calif., April 11/Third Place/Tanner Foust/Rockstar, Scion
• Round 4 - Las Vegas, Nev., July 11/First Place/Tanner Foust/Rockstar, Scion
• Round 4 - Las Vegas, Nev., July 11/Second Place/Ryuji Miki/A'PEXi, Hankook Tire
• Round 5 - Monroe, Wash., Aug. 8/Second Place/Eric O’Sullivan/Dynamic Autosports, Hankook Tire, Rockstar Energy Drink
• Round 6 - Sonoma, Calif., Aug. 22/Third Place/Ryuji Miki/A'PEXi, Hankook Tire
• Round 7 - Irwindale, Calif., Oct. 17/Third Place/Tanner Foust/Rockstar, Scion
About Hankook Tire America Corp.
Headquartered in Wayne, N.J., Hankook Tire America Corp. is a technology-focused, market-driven company that markets and distributes a complete line of high performance and ultra-high performance passenger tires, light truck, SUV tires, as well as medium truck and bus tires to more than 400 independent dealers through 3000+ retail sales locations in the United States and Canada.
For more information, please visit the Hankook website at www.hankooktireusa.com.