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Hankook Tire expands Formula Drift lineup

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After celebrating a stellar Formula Drift season that included podium finishes in five of the seven Drift events for Hankook driver Tanner Foust, Hankook is announcing ongoing participation in Formula Drift with an expanded driver lineup. Additionally, Hankook adds star power to its Redline Time Attack driver line-up, signing on Paul Walker of The Fast the Furious fame. Hankook also is exploring a partnership with Oakley for motorsports apparel items.

In 2011, Hankook will be an official tire sponsor for Formula Drift and once again sponsor Team Papadakis Racing and Tanner Foust, the 2010 championship runner-up, as well as Conrad Grunewald, who competed in the Hankook-sponsored Chevrolet Camaro for Conrad Grunewald Racing.

New for next year, the brand will expand its motorsports stable to include Scion Racing with driver Ken Gushi and Chris Forsberg Racing with driver Chris Forsberg. Hankook also will sponsor Rhys Millen Racing by supporting owner/driver Rhys Millen in Formula Drift, Rally Cross Competition and his quest to break the world record at the prestigious Pikes Peak Hill Climb.

All drivers will compete on Hankook’s Ventus R-S3 performance race tires, one of the premier tires in Formula Drift competition. Hankook has applied its latest motorsports technology to these tires, improving dry-grip performance by 30 percent; further enhancing the tire’s handling capabilities.

“We chose each of our new drivers judiciously based on their past records and potential performance,” said Paul Jho, motorsports marketing manager, Hankook Tire America Corp. “We are confident they will prove to be a valuable addition to our team and will contribute to Hankook’s growing success in motorsports.”

For Redline Time Attack, Hankook adds celebrity driver Paul Walker of The Fast and the Furious movie fame to its roster. Walker will be competing in a BMW M3. In addition, he will have Hankook’s support when he competes next month in the 25 Hour Thunderhill Endurance Race by NASA.

Walker will race on Hankook’s proven Ventus Z214 DOT R Compound tires. The Ventus Z214 DOT R offers a symmetric tread design and utilizes a smooth tread surface with two longitudinal tread grooves for outstanding performance on the circuit in both dry and damp conditions.

“Each year drifting and time attack continue to grow and gain popularity in the U.S. and influence the marketplace,” said Bill Bainbridge, Hankook Tire America Corp. director, brand communications. “Hankook will continue to be a motorsports leader, using our advanced technology to ensure the continued development of cutting-edge products like the Ventus R-S3 and Ventus Z214 to meet the demands of enthusiast consumers.”

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