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Hankook aims for 'high-level racing' in U.S.

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Hankook Tire America Corp. will continue to focus on Formula Drift, Global Time Attack and the Pikes Peak Hill Climb as part of its motorsports activity in 2012. In addition, the company will return to off-road racing and the 25 Hours of Thunderhill race.

“Hankook’s involvement in professional motorsports allows us to not only demonstrate to competitors and enthusiasts alike the class leading performance our tires offer, but also continue to grow our brand in the U.S. market,” says Paul Jho, motorsports marketing manager. “The exceptional quality of our tires coupled with technologically advanced products such as the Ventus RS-3, Ventus Z214, Ventus TD and Dynapro MT further demonstrate our ongoing commitment to meeting the demands of racers, enthusiasts and everyday drivers.”

Hankook’s domestic motorsports strategy focuses on grassroots events and racing series that are growing in popularity. That includes the Formula Drift Racing Series; last season, Hankook totaled two first place wins and six podium finishes in the series.

This season, Hankook will sponsor not only the series, but also five drivers, including 2011 third-place finisher Chris Forsberg and the Chris Forsberg Racing Nissan 370Z. The other drivers are: Rhys Millen and the Rhys Millen Racing Hyundai Genesis Coupe; Conrad Grunewald and the Conrad Grunewald Racing Chevrolet Camaro; Fredric Aasbo and the Papadakis Racing Scion TC; and Ken Gushi in the new for 2012 Scion Racing FR-S.

All of Hankook’s Formula Drift drivers will compete on Hankook’s Ventus R-S3 extreme performance tires. The Ventus RS-3 was developed using the same design, technology and compound used to build Hankook’s Ventus Z214 racing tire.

(Hankook also will sponsor Rhys Millen Racing and driver Rhys Millen in the 2012 Pikes Peak Hill Climb. At the 2011 event, Millen scored a second place finish in the race’s Unlimited Class.)

"These activities will ultimately provide Hankook the knowledge and experience necessary to participate in high-level racing in the United States, much like Hankook has done globally with its participation in the DTM international touring car series and European Le Mans series," says the company.

For more information, check out the related story in our Racing News section by clicking here.

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