Hankook Tire driver Chris Forsberg scored a first place win at the opening round of the 2014 Formula Drift season at the Streets of Long Beach in Long Beach, California this weekend, the only street course on the 2014 U.S. series schedule.
The first race of the 2014 season marks Formula Drift’s eleventh year of competition in the United States as well as Hankook Tire’s ninth year competing in the series and third year as an official series sponsor.
The 20,000 plus fans that attended the event were greeted with sunny skies, mild temperatures and serious on-track competition for race day. Racing began seeing all of Hankook’s drivers qualify for the Top 32. Forsberg’s win came after a close final battle which pitted him against Norway’s Kenneth Moen driving a Nissan 240SX. When all was said and done the judges awarded Forsberg the win, the first of the 2014 season, placing him in the lead in the Professional Champion points standings.
“Kicking off the 2014 season in the top spot is exactly where you want to start a championship season,” said Forsberg. “With the additional horsepower we put into the car in the off season it was everything that we needed to get all of the grip out of our Hankook tires to take us all the way to first place.”
All of Hankook’s Formula Drift drivers race on Hankook’s Ventus RS-3 Extreme Performance tire. The Ventus R-S3 is designed for serious sports car, sports coupe and performance sedan enthusiasts looking for race tire-like traction on the street or for use in autocross, drifting or track events.
“I can’t imagine a better way to begin the season than with a first place win,” said Paul Jho, Hankook Motorsports Manager. “The first race of the year is so important, it sets up your outlook for the season as a whole. I am proud of Chris and his team for their win here and excited for all of our teams and Formula Drift program this season going forward.”
Hankook garnered enhanced visibility and sales increases in 2013 as a result of its motorsports sponsorships and special racing programs. In addition to Formula Drift, Hankook offers amateur and professional racing enthusiasts contingency program benefits and the chance to earn incentives in SCCA National Solo, ProSolo and Club Racing events, NASA regional and national races, and additonally supports teams competing in the Redline Time Attack series, 25 Hours of Thunderhill, Off-Road Racing and the Panam GP Series.
Bob Ulrich was named Modern Tire Dealer editor in August 2000. He joined the magazine in 1985 as assistant editor, and has been responsible for gathering statistical information for MTD's "Facts Issue" since 1993.