Team Sierra Sierra sets new Time Attack record with Hankook
Hankook Tire’s 2010 season of Time Attack came to a triumphant end last week in Buttonwillow, Calif., as Sierra Sierra Enterprises driver David “Emp” Empringham broke the Super Lap Battle record in his 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII equipped with Hankook’s Ventus Z214 DOT R compound tires.
At 1:41.046 timed by the National Auto Sport Association, Empringham shaved two seconds off the previous record set by HKS in 2007. Team Sierra Sierra exceeded its expectations and now the record is officially shared with Hankook.
“We are ecstatic that Empringham closed off the season with a strong finish on Hankook tires,” said Paul Jho, motorsports manager, Hankook Tire America Corp. “He continues to outperform himself time and time again, and we look forward to seeing him do it again next year.”
It has been a goal of Empringham’s to beat this record and make his mark in the highly prestigious Super Lap Battle AWD category. The invite-only Super Lap Battle Final is the fastest race in which street cars compete. Sierra Sierra battled in the Unlimited Class, meaning that the street car was heavily tuned and modified within set regulations. The race requires that the car run on DOT tires and the Hankook Z214 proved to be the fastest DOT tire available.
Empringham was quoted earlier this year as saying he had explored all DOT tire options and it was obvious that the Hankooks were the only tire capable of providing the grip and speed he was looking for. Of the race, Empringham said that it took many long days of testing and thanked the team and Hankook Tire for helping him achieve his performance target.
This isn’t Empringham’s first time breaking a record on Hankook tires. The Sierra Sierra Enterprises driver set a record at 1:43.2 at Redline Time Attack’s first event this year.
Hankook Tire has been accomplishing track records and podiums in the sport of time attack since 2006; this is the company’s fourth season as an associate sponsor of the sport. Including Empringham, Hankook sponsored four 2010 Time Attack drivers: GST’s Gary Sheehan in his STi, N1 Racing’s Andrie Hartanto in his Honda S2000, and Warr Racing’s Russell Warr in his STi.
“We’ve had a very successful season,” said Jho. “Our drivers each gave it their all and a tremendous amount of knowledge was gained through intense competition.”