Team Mitsubishi Alcan Completes Grueling Alcan 5000 Winter Rally on Hankook Tires
PORTLAND, ORE., April 22, 2008 - Team Mitsubishi Alcan made it to the Arctic and back on Hankook winter tires, and brought home a pair of podium finishes in this year’s most extreme adventure rally competition?the Alcan 5000 Winter Rally.
The Alcan rally covered 5000 miles from Seattle to Tuktoyaktuk, NWT, then south to Jasper, Alberta. The event was held from Saturday, Feb. 16 to Wednesday, Feb. 27.
“It was an amazing adventure. Not just to compete against some of the best rallyists in the world, but to see the Arctic in the winter made this the trip of a lifetime,” said team driver Gary Bockman.
The Alcan is an unusual combination of a road rally, ice racing and endurance. In the rally portion of the event, participants travel a predetermined route at specified average speeds. The team that navigates the correct route closest to the perfect time is the winner.
The rally route took teams hundreds of miles on “ice roads” created on frozen rivers and on lonely gravel highways across mountain ranges and over the Arctic Circle. A typical competition day on the rally included distances of over 500 miles. Ice racing and endurance?reaching the northernmost control in Tuktoyaktuk?was also part of the scored competition.
“When your route includes ice roads and thousands of miles on snow, ice and gravel, just making it to the finish is a victory,” said team navigator Matt Tabor.
Taking a crossover utility vehicle to the far north requires some preparation, and Team Mitsubishi Alcan points out that they wouldn’t have made it without the right equipment.
“We chose Hankook Dynapro and Winter iPike studded tires, and they were great under all conditions,” said team driver April Smith. “Whether it was the bumpy ice road on the Mackenzie River or rolling down the highway, the Hankook tires were dead reliable.”
“Sometimes you’d encounter clear pavement, gravel, ice and snow all within a couple hundred yards on the road,” noted navigator Jeff Zurschmeide. “The Dynapro tires just ate it all up, and we didn’t lose a single tire in the whole 5,000 miles.”
The team’s unlimited class car (#24, staffed by April Smith, Marcus Song and Kevin Poirier) ran on Hankook Winter iPike tires and finished second out of five entries in class and fourth overall in the rally. Smith, Song and Poirier were the top-finishing rookie team on the rally.
The stock equipment class car (#21, staffed by Gary Bockman, Matt Tabor and Jeff Zurschmeide) ran on Hankook Dynapro iPike tires and finished third out of nine entries in their class and 13th overall.
Team Mitsubishi Alcan has created a website that documents their adventures. Web-resolution photos and blog entries are posted at www.team-mitsubishi-alcan.com
Media outlets may quote its blog entries and are encouraged to contact the team to arrange unique stories. Permission is granted for editorial use of photos. Please contact the team for high-resolution digital images from the rally.
For information on the Alcan 5000 Winter Rally, see www.alcan5000.com.
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 the seventh largest and one of the fastest growing tire manufacturers in the world.
For more information, please visit the Hankook website at www.hankooktireusa.com.