Hankook Drivers Tanner Foust and Robbie Nishida Take 3rd and 4th at Streets of Long Beach Formula Drift Opener
Hankook Ventus R-S3 Tire Makes Successful Debut
WAYNE, N.J. April 14, 2009 - If the Formula Drift season opener in Long Beach, Calif., is any indication of things to come this year, Hankook Tire and drift fans are in for one heck of a ride.
The Southern California fans packed the Long Beach streets for Formula Drift ? Streets of Long Beach, the only drift event on the Formula Drift calendar that actually takes place on a true street course, creating some very exciting close-to-the-wall drift action.
Making his debut for Hankook Tire in the Rockstar / Scion Racing tC, Tanner Foust made his way to the semi-finals with three exceptionally consistent wins, and in an epic semi-final battle it took over six runs and two “One More Times” before Foust was ousted by eventual event winner Ryan Tuerck. In the other semi-final, Robbie Nishida in the Hankook Tire / Dynamic Autosport 350Z had the sell out crowd jumping with his combination of high-entry speed and Ventus tire smoke, and was barely edged out by eventual runner-up Sam Hubinette.
In the battle for third place Hankook drivers Foust and Nishida were matched up against each other and proceeded to thrill the standing room only crowd with not one, but two “One More Times” to decide the matchup. Foust took the win despite six close runs, giving Hankook Tire its first podium score of the season and marking the first time Hankook Tire has had two professional drift drivers in the Top 4.
“We are very pleased with the results today,” said Hankook Tire Motorsports Manager Jason Kim, “We’re off to a real solid start but we know that we have plenty more work to do before Road Atlanta. We are excited for more podium opportunities this year.”
The Streets of Long Beach event also marked the successful competition debut of Hankook’s Ventus R-S3 ultra-high performance tire. “The Ventus R-S3 delivers both on the track and off,” said Hankook Tire director of brand communications Bill Bainbridge, “today’s results are a great affirmation on the technology that goes into Hankook tires.”
The Hankook drift teams immediately went back to work following the Long Beach show, Formula Drift heads next to Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia on May 8-9.
About Hankook Tire America Corp.
Headquartered in Wayne, N.J., Hankook Tire America Corp. is a technology-focused, market-driven company that supports motorsports enthusiasts and racers at all levels. Hankook is known and respected around the world for its superior competition tires that outlast the toughest opposition. Hankook remains at the forefront of performance tire development to achieve cutting-edge results. As Hankook expands its motorsports activities, the focus will remain on technology that will keep Hankook-equipped vehicles in the winner’s circle. Hankook is the seventh largest and one of the fastest growing tire manufacturers in the world. For more information, please visit the Hankook website at www.hankooktireusa.com.
|Director of Brand Communication
||Assistant Account Executive
|Hankook Tire America Corp
|Phone: 973-633-9000 x 531
Formula Drift sponsored drivers:
Tanner Foust is a winning competitor in rally, drift, ice racing and time attack with a proven track record of multiple podium placements and national championships. Foust has seen huge success in Drift and Rally in the last few seasons. In addition to winning the 2008 Formula Drift Pro Drift Championship, repeating his 2007 Championship, he also took the Silver medal as runner up in the 2008 Summer X Games Pro Rally race. Tanner won the 2007 X Games Gold Medal in the Pro Rally for the Rockstar Energy Rally team, beating factory Subaru team members, Ken Block and
BMX legend Travis Pastrana.
Robbie Nishida, who has been drifting professionally since 1998, returns as driver of Dynamic Autosports’ Nissan 350Z in the Formula Drift series. Some of his career highlights include placing first at a Battle Magazine single drift event at Nikko Circuit and finishing sixth in a Battle Magazine Championship Drift round.
The 2007 Pro Drift points champion, drifter Eric O’Sullivan remains one of Formula Drift’s most charismatic front runners. Eric is recognized as a European drifting pioneer and a successful ambassador for this new and exciting sport. With strong links to the extreme/action sport community, the team Dynamic Autosports driver brings a unique style and attitude to motorsport circuits all over the world. Fearless driving skills combined with a professional team approach have earned him a large international following while remaining competitive amongst the best drivers and teams in Europe.
Ryuji is a drifter who hails from Tottori Prefecture, Japan, and now drives for team Dynamic Autosports. Miki was the 2004 D1 Grand Prix champion driving the Top Secret Silvia S15. Miki also has competed in the Net’z Cup, a one make series for the Toyota Altezza between 2005 and its final season in 2006. Miki is nicknamed Doki-Doki due to his drifting style.