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Title 4/9/2009 - Hankook Tire Adds Premier Drift Racer to Its 2009 Motorsports Roster
Date 04/09/2009 Count 13314

Hankook Tire Adds Premier Drift Racer to Its 2009 Motorsports Roster
Introduces 2008 Champion Tanner Foust at Streets of Long Beach

WAYNE, N.J. April 9, 2009 - During the kick-off of Formula Drift’s 2009 season in Long Beach, Calif., this weekend, Hankook Tire will unveil the newest edition to its racing team, 2008 Formula Drift Champion Tanner Foust.

In its third season of participation in the Formula Drift series competition, Hankook is sponsoring two official race teams, team Papadakis and team Dyanmic Autosports. Papadakis team members include the 2007 and 2008 Formula Drift champion Tanner Foust, who will be making a run at his third straight Formula Drift title this year, with a new Scion tC drift car and new Hankook Ventus tires.

“Tanner Brings a proven record of success to the Hankook team,” said Bill Bainbridge, director of brand communications, Hankook Tire America Corp. “We’re confident that he will represent the brand well and will contribute to Hankook’s growing presence and success in North American motorsports.”

Hankook is also sponsoring team Dynamic Autosports, who includes a unique combination of three different vehicles and drivers. Robbie Nishida, who made his way into the prestigious “Great 8” round three times last season, returns as Dynamic’s Nissan 350Z driver. Eric O’Sullivan, a native of Ireland and new to the team this year, is the 2007 Pro Drift points champion and is recognized as a European drifting pioneer and one of the most charismatic front runners in Formula Drift. Also added to the mix is new team member Ryuji Miki, a former D1 Grand Prix champion, one of Formula Drifts largest competitors.

Hankook’s Formula Drift drivers will be racing with the new Ventus R-S3, a successor to the track-proven Ventus R-S2 and compliment to the Ventus Z214 racing tires. The brand has applied its latest motorsports technology to improve dry-grip performance by 30 percent, further enhancing the tire’s handling capabilities. The profile has been developed to maximize the footprint contact patch. In addition, based on the great success of Hankook’s DOT R Compound tires in 2007-2008 competitions, the compound technology responsible for winning on the track has been applied in the new Ventus R-S3.

“As drifting, time attack and autocross competitions continue to gain popularity and influence the marketplace, Hankook looks to deliver high performance products both on the street and on the track,” Bainbridge said. “The new Ventus R-S3 will prove to be a great investment for our enthusiast consumers, delivering a high quality UHP street tire that seamlessly meets the demands of on-track motorsports performance.”

Hankook continues to expand its motorsports activities on a global level by entering into the 2009 Le Mans Series and 24 Hours of Le Mans in Europe. Hankook will also be sponsoring the International Rally Challenge (IRC) in Europe, along with the Super GT, Japan Formula 3, the China Circuit Championship (CCC), the China Rally Championship (CRC), the CJ Super Race and the Hankook DDGT and Hankook R1 in Asia.

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 winner’s 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.

Media Contacts:
Bill Bainbridge Cindy Kamerad Jeff Wandell
Director of Brand Communication Account Director Assistant Account Executive
Hankook Tire America Corp Weber Shandwick Weber Shandwick
Phone: 973-633-9000 x 531 Phone: 248-203-8112 Phone: 248-203-8096
wbainbridge@hankooktireusa.com ckamerad@webershandwick.com jwandell@webershandwick.com

Formula Drift sponsored drivers:

Tanner Faust
Tanner Foust is a winning competitor in rally, drift, ice racing and time attack with a proven track record of multiple podium placements and national championships. Foust has seen huge success in Drift and Rally in the last few seasons. In addition to winning the 2008 Formula Drift Pro Drift Championship, repeating his 2007 Championship, he also took the Silver medal as runner up in the 2008 Summer X Games Pro Rally race. Tanner won the 2007 X Games Gold Medal in the Pro Rally for the Rockstar Energy Rally team, beating factory Subaru team members, Ken Block and BMX legend Travis Pastrana.

Robbie Nishida
Robbie Nishida, who has been drifting professionally since 1998, returns as driver of Dynamic Autosports’ Nissan 350Z in the Formula Drift series. Some of his career highlights include placing first at a Battle Magazine single drift event at Nikko Circuit and finishing sixth in a Battle Magazine Championship Drift round.

Eric O’Sullivan
The 2007 Pro Drift points champion, drifter Eric O’Sullivan remains one of Formula Drift’s most charismatic front runners. Eric is recognized as a European drifting pioneer and a successful ambassador for this new and exciting sport. With strong links to the extreme/action sport community, Eric brings a unique style and attitude to motorsport circuits all over the world. Fearless driving skills combined with a professional team approach have earned him a large international following while remaining competitive amongst the best drivers and teams in Europe.

Ryuji Miki
Ryuji is a drifter who hails from Tottori Prefecture, Japan. Miki was the 2004 D1 Grand Prix champion driving the Top Secret Silvia S15. Miki also has competed in the Net’z Cup, a one make series for the Toyota Altezza between 2005 and its final season in 2006. Miki is nicknamed Doki-Doki due to his drifting style.

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