Flatoutracing/Hankook Tires Racing Team Takes First Win of 2007 Season
Switching to ITS Class Proves Effective for Driver Jon Kofad and Team
Wayne, NJ (June 27, 2007) - The Flatoutracing/Hankook Tires team gained its first win of the season during Round 4 of SCCA’s MARRS Series (Mid Atlantic Road Racing Series) at Summit Point Raceway in Summit Point, WV on June 17. Principle driver Jon Kofod was presented a huge challenge when the team switched from the popular ITA class to the faster ITS class only weeks before the race.
“After looking at our chances in ITA, it became apparent that we had more of a chance in ITS. While it certainly wasn’t going to be easy, we thought we had the pace to possibly win a lot of races in ITS,” stated Kofod before the first ITS race. “But we had no way of exactly knowing our pace and how we would stack up against the ITS field,” noted Kofod.
It didn’t help matters that the team qualified second in the morning session, a full half second behind the pole sitting Datsun 240Z of Jeffrey Lucas. A few adjustments and a new set of Hankook Ventus Z214 tires put all concerns to rest in the afternoon qualifying. Kofod shaved off more than a half second to take pole with a 1:27.55, less than one tenth ahead of the Datsun’s morning time.
The race started with Kofod lined up on the front row next to Marshall Lytle, driver of the faster ITR class Bimmerworld BMW, and Lucas lined up on the second row beside ITA front-runner Chris Perera. Lytle’s BMW pulled a quick two car lengths on Kofod and Lucas down the front straight. Kofod got a better start than Lucas’ 240Z and took the first corner with Lucas tucked in behind for second place. Lucas hounded the Flatoutracing/Hankook Tires #44 Integra for much of the next three laps and on lap four was able to make the inside pass in turn 1 for the ITS lead.
Kofod spent the next five to six laps glued to the 240Z’s bumper providing constant pressure to Lucas. With clearly a faster car, Kofod continually pressured Lucas into using up his tires and brakes. On lap 11, Lucas got into a lurid tail slide at the exit of turn 10 and Kofod was able to retake the lead by using the Integra’s superior brakes on the inside of turn 1. Although he was rarely more than a car length behind, Lucas lost his brakes on the front straight and careened into the sand trap with three laps to go. Kofod was now more than 20 seconds up on the second place Martin Jeter’s Datsun 240Z. Despite a scary moment at the final corner when an ITA BMW nearly spun in turn 10, Kofod cruised home for the win.
“First and foremost, I want to thank Hankook Tires for some awesome race rubber. We had so many variables to worry about coming to a new class, but one thing we didn’t need to worry about was the Ventus Z214’s new compound. We knew we had the fastest tire. I would also like to thank my chief mechanic at Curry’s Auto Service, Brian Curry, who spent the better part of last week prepping the car and changing the motor for this upcoming race and also John and Sean my crew members who made all the right adjustments during the weekend.”
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.