Hankook Tire to sponsor 2004 drifting series at The Strip;

Nine-event Hankook Tire Drifting Series is first of its kind in U.S.

            Hankook Tire America Corp. will sponsor The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway¿s 2004 drifting series.  The Hankook Tire Drifting Series consists of nine events, beginning Friday evening..

¿The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is committed to staying on the cutting edge of sport compact motorsports,¿ said Chris Blair, LVMS¿ senior director of drag racing operations.  ¿We¿re excited that Hankook Tires shares our enthusiasm for this incredible new sport and look forward to delivering the first ever local drifting series in the United States .¿

Drifting consists of racing on a specially-designed road course while trying to maintain a controlled slide. Racers are judged on their lap times and sliding ability.  The sport of drifting has attracted huge followings in Japan and Hawaii and is rapidly gaining popularity in the U.S.   Several venues in southern California have hosted independent drifting events but none have created a regular point-based program.  The events will be sanctioned and officiated by the North American Drifting Association.

 ¿Drifting is one of the fastest-growing automotive competitive events in the world,¿ said Hankook Tire Marketing Director Bill Bainbridge.  ¿Holding this series in the entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas, adds significant value to the series.  We expect great things from our participation in terms of brand awareness and showcasing the performance of our Ventus line of ultra-high performance tires.¿

¿Sport Compact enthusiasts in the U.S. discovered drifting through Japanese automotive magazines and videos and it caught on in Hawaii,¿ Blair continued.  ¿That interest fueled a demand for magazines, DVDs, videos and websites documenting these events.  We now have local drifting fans who

are using area parking lots for late-night drift rallies.  We want to approach drifting just as we did our Midnight Mayhem street racing program by providing a safe place for these enthusiasts to conduct drifting activity.¿

            Hankook Tire is a technology-focused, market-driven company with manufacturing facilities around the world and research and development on three continents.  Hankook Tire manufactures and markets a full range of passenger, high performance, ultra-high performance, light and medium truck, winter radial, original equipment and truck and bus radial tires.

            Hankook tires are available in the Las Vegas area at Firebird Tire Service (www.firebirdtire.com), Purcell¿s Western States Tire (www.purcelltire.com), Silver State Tire and Valley Service Center (Logandale, Nev.).

            Additional information on Hankook Tire America Corp. may be found at www.hankooktireusa.com.

            2004 Hankook Tire Drifting Series schedule: April 16, May 21, June 18, July 16, July 17, Aug. 6, Sept. 10, Oct. 8 and Nov. 19.

Competitors must be 18 years of age and possess a valid driver¿s license.
Clothing must include long sleeves and full pants (no baggy clothes).
Full face helmet with Snell 200 rating must be worn during competition.
Race suits (if used) must have SFI rating.
Cars must not leak fluids while running.
Nitrous bottles must be removed before passing through tech.
Tires must be in good condition (No damage and no exposed belts).
Stock safety restraint systems must be employed.
If an aftermarket restraint system is employed the factory restraint system must be disabled.
Aftermarket restraint systems must bolt to the frame or roll-cage.
All decisions made by the technical inspectors and race directors are final.
Drivers must possess a valid NADA membership to compete in points series competition.
Drivers without NADA membership will be eligible to participate in the amateur solo trophy competition only.
Driver accepts responsibility for any damage to his/her vehicle.

Amateur Solo
- Open to street legal vehicles only. Limited to the first 30 Non-NADA members to enter.
Amateur drivers must attend mandatory orientation/driver¿s meeting at 5:45 p.m. to participate.
NADA Stock
NADA Modified
NADA Outlaw (Pro)

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS - APRIL 16 (Times will be adjusted for future events)
5 p.m. - Race Gates Open / Tech Inspection begins
5:45 p.m.- Driver¿s Meeting (Mandatory orientation for non-NADA members)
6 p.m. - Spectator Gates Open / Open Practice for all classes
9 p.m. - Amateur Solo Trophy Competition
9:30 p.m. - NADA Points Series
12 a.m. - Conclude event

Participant Entry Fee: $30
Crew Fee: $10 (must accompany car and driver at the time of entry purchase)
Spectators: $11 (ages 13 and over, includes sales tax)
Kids 6-12: $5
5 and under: Free

DIRECTIONS (Participants and Spectators)
Interstate 15 exit 54. Enter gate D and follow signs along loop road to north Strip pit gate. Only race vehicles are permitted inside the drift pit area.