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Hankook’s Rhys Millen and Fredric Aasbo score 1st and 2nd place finishes

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Hankook’s Rhys Millen and Fredric Aasbo score 1st and 2nd place finishes

Rhys Millen was at the top of the winner’s podium again this weekend after scoring a first place finish at the sixth round of the 2012 Formula Drift season in Las Vegas, Nev. Millen’s first place victory comes only weeks after winning the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, setting a new world record time in doing so.

Millen’s Hankook teammate Fredric Aasbo, in his Hankook Scion tC, finished the race in second place, making it a double podium finish weekend for Hankook’s Formula Drift program.

Competitors rolled into Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the event to a new track configuration and throngs of excited fans. Extra grandstands were added this year to accommodate the increase in attendance for this unique nighttime race which saw fierce competition right up to the final round.

Millen’s first place victory came after a tight final battle that pitted him against fellow Hankook driver Fredric Aasbo. The extra challenge of a new track configuration didn’t hamper Millen’s driving, pulling out a fist place victory and landing Aasbo a Hankook one, two finish.

“Rhys and Fredric did an amazing job this weekend in Las Vegas and I couldn’t be happier for both of them,” said Paul Jho, Hankook’s motorsports marketing manager. “The rain that came down before the event and the resulting humid conditions were tough on the drivers and their tires, but Rhys, Fredric and their Ventus R-S3 tires came out on top giving Hankook a double podium finish. Outstanding.”

Millen’s first place victory in Las Vegas makes this back-to-back wins for him at the track, having won the race here last year as well. Millen’s win moves him into third place in the overall points standings for the 2012 Formula Drift season.

“It was an incredible victory for our entire crew at Rhys Millen Racing and Hankook. To come here from Pikes Peak in the exact same car in a different configuration and in a different driving style and to do it back to back,” said Millen. “This is a true driver’s course and suits the car well.  We were flawless all day long on our Hankook tires."

Aasbo’s second-place finish didn’t come easy, with his crew having to repair his car after it made contact with the wall damaging the rear suspension. With only a five minute window to correct the damage, he and his crew were able to get the car back on the track to secure his second place finish.

“I ended up gambling just a little bit too much in the final and put myself in the wall, shattering the entire left rear suspension assembly,” said Aasbo. “Left with only five minutes to repair the damages, the Papadakis Racing crew proved why they're the best in the business and got the car back together in time. We then put on what was likely our best chase run of the weekend behind Rhys Millen, making the finals an all out Hankook Tire smoke show.”

Leading up to the final race of the season next month at Irwindale, Calif., on Oct. 12 and 13th, all five of Hankook’s Formula Drift drivers; Conrad Grunewald, Chris Forsberg, Rhys Millen, Fredric Aasbo and Ken Gushi, are in the top 10 points bracket, making Round 7 a race not to miss.

2012 marks the ninth year for the Formula Drift series and Hankook’s seventh year of involvement.  The company garnered enhanced visibility and sales increases in 2011 as a result of its motorsports sponsorships and special racing programs and has continued its involvement as an official sponsor of Formula Drift for the 2012 racing season. Hankook also supports teams competing in Global Time Attack, the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, Off-Road Racing and the 25 Hours of Thunderhill race.

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