Hankook-Sponsored Driver Dominates 2007 SCCA Club Racing Opener
Joel Lipperini, Three-Time National Champion Starts Season With Pole Position, First Place Track Finish and New Track Record
SUMMIT POINT, WV (April 26, 2007) - The track at Summit Point Raceway witnessed the start of the 2007 racing season for three-time National Champion Joel Lipperini. In his Touring 3 (T3) Mazdaspeed Miata, Lipperini came away with not only a first place finish, but was able to beat the standing track record by four seconds.
Due to an impending severe storm, race officials decided to shorten the weekend of racing to a one day event, with qualifying rounds and actual racing taking place on Saturday.
Even though the Hankook tires that Joel Lipperini and his team had mounted on the Miata were brand new, they were confident enough in the quality of the tire to run them at full speed without a “heat cycle”.
With the green flag flying, Joel Lipperini drove the T3 Mazdaspeed Miata to a pole position well under the track record. Unfortunately during the qualifying session, the car developed a transmission problem - Joel could not engage three of the gears.
Because of the shortened race schedule, the team had no time to fix the damaged transmission before the next heat, and unable to top off the fuel tank due to a problem with the on-site pumps, the team rolled the car towards the grid with a low fuel level. Due to the damaged transmission, Lipperini faced the added challenge of starting the car off in third gear without stalling.
Joel successfully got the car rolling, and over the next eight laps stretched out a 21 second lead on the 2nd place car setting a new track record on each lap. Thanks to some smart driving techniques that allowed him to conserve his fuel, Lipperini came across the finish line with the Hankook Tire Mazdaspeed Miata in first place.
“It was the end of a fun weekend - my team overcame the obstacles that were placed in front of them and we brought home a record performance. The Hankook tires worked flawlessly the entire race - even though they were the same sticker set that we never got a chance to heat cycle!” stated Lipperini.
Photo courtesy of Travis Trussell.
About Hankook Tire America Corp.
Headquartered in Wayne, N.J., Hankook Tire America Corp. is a technology-focused, market-driven company that supports motorsports enthusiasts and racers at all levels. Hankook is known and respected around the world for its superior competition tires that outlast the toughest opposition. Hankook remains at the forefront of performance tire development to achieve cutting-edge results. As Hankook expands its motorsports activities, the focus will remain on technology that will keep Hankook-equipped vehicles in the winners circle. Hankook is one of the largest tire manufacturers in the world, manufacturing a wide range of tires for almost any vehicle. For more information please visit Hankook Tires on the web at www.hankooktireusa.com.