• Mar 8th 2007 at 3:01PM
  • 12

We imagine those brave souls who first turned oversteer into an art form on the dangerous twisties of Japan's mountain passes never imagined what would become of their beloved motorsport on American soil. Samuel Hubinette now drives a four-door Dodge Charger, Rhys Millen will pilot a Solstice GXP this season and Ken Gushi pilots a Ford Mustang GT. All do so with a great degree of success, as well. Now word comes that Hankook Tires will debut a drifting Porsche 993 car at the Formula D season opener in Long Beach on April 7th. The car features a 600-hp motor to help peel away its Hankook Ventus R-S2 rubber in a controlled manner. Unlike other drift cars, since the Porsche carries so much weight over its rear axle, the rear suspension had to be softened so the car could "squat" to get better traction. It will be driven by Tyler McQuarrie in the upcoming 2007 Formula D season, and for the purists out there will be accompanied by an S15 Sylvia Silvia driven by Kenji Yamanaka. We wonder what the official folks in Stuttgart think about all this.

Official press release from Hankook Tires can be found after the jump.

[Source: Hankook Tire]


Hankook Tires/JIC Drift Team Completes Successful Test Day at Willow Springs

Hankook-Sponsored Porsche 993 GT2 and Nissan S15 Silvia Formula Drift Championship Contenders are Being Readied for their debut at Long Beach Grand Prix – April 8, 2007

WAYNE, NJ (March 8, 2007) – Hankook Tire America Corp., rolled out its drifting hardware at a test day at Willow Springs Raceway in Rosamond, CA. on Thursday March 1. The Hankook Tires/JIC Magic USA Porsche 993, driven by veteran drift racer Tyler McQuarrie, and the Nissan S15 Silvia driven by Kenji Yamanaka are both expected to be strong championship contenders in the 2007 Formula Drift Series, which begins April 7 at the Long Beach Grand Prix.

Jay Lee, Hankook Tire Product Manager from the North American headquarters and engineers from Korea and Hankook's Tech Center in Ohio were on hand to oversee the fitment and performance of the Hankook Ventus R-S2 tires. "Drivers need speed through the corners to get the tires to spin and drift, but they also need great grip so they can place the car where they want it," said Lee. "Control is the key to winning these competitions and our tires provide the ultimate grip."

Because the drifting market currently is much larger in Japan than in the U.S., the tires Hankook selects for its North America drifting teams have already gone through approximately three years of testing and competition in Japan by D1 drivers.

"When we announced a drifting Porsche, there were a lot of skeptics and doubters," said Bill Bainbridge, Director of Brand Communication for Hankook Tire America Corp. "The truth is you can drift just about anything as long as it is engineered correctly."

The Hankook Tires/JIC Magic Porsche has been re-engineered with a JIC/Cross suspension that incorporates a special drifting setup opposite of the norm. Since Porsche models are heavier at the rear, softer rear springs allow the car to "squat" to get better traction. Custom control arms, tie-rods and knuckles had to be created to get the extreme angle needed for competitive drifting, to keep the tires from rubbing as the car turns. Final modifications include a 600-hp engine and relocated oil cooler.

"There are still a few minor tweaks to make on the Porsche before it takes to the track in Long Beach," said Bainbridge. "We have great confidence in Tyler's driving skills and the technical prowess of the JIC Magic crew to get everything buttoned up in the next few weeks. I look forward to my next report being from the winner's circle."

During the test session the Hankook Tires/JIC Magic USA Nissan S15 Silvia, driven by both McQuarrie and Yamanaka really raised a few eyebrows. Both drivers used the Willow Springs test session to refine the car's handling since team engineers and mechanics have added an additional 100 horsepower under the hood since last year's Formula D finals.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago

      What a waste! drifting is a joke, speed into corners is were it is at, i have watched several races and it is as boring as watching oval track racing. smoking your way around corners is a sure way to loose speed. could you see drifters at the "ring" or lime rock, if you want to smoke your tires go to a drag race, man, another video game for the socially challenged.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Atleast they're not going around an oval. Now THAT would make purists roll over in their graves.

      Oh, wait ...
      • 8 Years Ago
      drifting was born in Japan...looool

      God I love such 2f2f ilk comments...drifting is as old as car racing they do hill climb racing in europe over 100years.


      • 8 Years Ago
      interesting to see how the porsche will fare.....im expecting a spin....

      funny thing, i was actually at willow springs on the 3rd for a drift event, dam i just missed those cars!
      • 8 Years Ago
      BMW: 1,3,5,6,7series , Z4 roadster/coupe
      Mercedes: C-, E-, S-class, CLS, SLK, SL, CL, CLK
      Porsche: Boxster, Cayman, 911, Panamerra
      Yes: Roadster, Clubsport
      Wiesmann: MF3 Roadster, GT
      Opel: Speedster, Speedster Turbo, GT
      smart: roadster, fortwo, Coupe
      Gumpert: Apollo
      Dauer: 962 LeMans
      Alpina: B6, D3, B5, B7,
      Weineck: Cobra 780cui (and all the smaler models)
      Maybach: all models
      Irmscher: Roadster 77


      beat that...without adding pickups..

      • 8 Years Ago
      3. John, here is a video we shot of that car at the SEMA show in Las Vegas, cool stuff!

      It wasn't a video of the car. It was a boring video of you yacking with the douchbag driver.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Drifting its basically just sliding a car with precision and control, so yes its been around since rickshaws in China. But drifting as a type of motorsport did originate in Japan. In Europe and America people used the technique but it wasn't like they were running entire races while drifting. Japan came up with drifting as we know it today by taking entire courses sliding, and that is what the sport is essentially today.
      • 8 Years Ago
      There are lots of japanese RWD cars in production even more than German RWD cars.

      Here are just a few

      toyota crown athlete , crown royale , crown sedan , mark x , mark 2 blit , century , progres , brevis.

      nissan fuga,cima,skyline,350z,stagea.

      mazda mx-5, rx-8

      lexus IS,GS,LS,SC
      • 8 Years Ago
      #7 Greg,
      If you noticed we were standing in front of the Porsche drift car, I am sorry if we were blocking your view, but some of us do like to hear what the drivers of the car have to say.

      PS I was not the guy on film, that was Chris.
      • 8 Years Ago
      what a waste of one of Porsches greatest models.
      • 8 Years Ago
      wow, seems like an interesting concept, Tyler's a great driver so he shouldn't have much trouble.

      and it's an S15 SILVIA, not sylvia, I expected you guys to get that right
      • 8 Years Ago
      stefan - you are insane if you think that the Japanese have more rwd sedans than the germans. Insane or retarded.

      Did you eat paint chips for breakfast?