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Hankook Honors Design Students, Kicks Off Formula Drift Campaign

October 31, 2012
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In addition to launching its all-new ultra-high performance all-season Ventus S1 Noble2 at this week's Global Tire Expo/SEMA Show, Hankook showcased the winning innovative tire design mockups from its "Tire Design for the Future Environment" competition. The tiremaker also honored the winner of its first "Hankook Heroes" Facebook campaign, and announced the kick-off of the new "Models vs. Drivers" Facebook campaign.
From left: Ben Zavala and Mark Hearn, first and second place winners of Hankook's "Tire Design for the Future Environment" competition, with University of Cincinnati professor Raphael Zammit.

The three-month “Tire Design for the Future Environment” competition, held this past spring for third year design students at the University of Cincinnati, tasked students with creating new tire designs based on their own visions of future cars, sustainability needs such as reducing and reusing raw materials used in tire production, and the importance of increasing tire efficiency and meeting specific tire performance targets.
Soo Il Lee, president of Hankook Tire America Corp., presented awards to first place winner Ben Zavala for his “Tiltred” tilting tire design and to second place winner Mark Hearn for his “Motive” off-road design.

“The project brief asked our students to stretch their imagination about future cars, view the role of tires from new angles, and propose a new tire design accordingly,” said University of Cincinnati professor Raphael Zammit. “It was an all-around great project and we are truly grateful to Hankook Tire for giving us the opportunity.” 

He noted that Hankook designers worked with the students throughout the process, providing constructive feedback and valuable insight. “I was impressed with how involved Hankook was,” Zammit added. “They showed commitment across the board.”
Derrelle and Amanda Ruschel (center) accept recognition for "Hankook Heroes" from Hankook Tire America Corp.'s Soo Il Lee, president (left), and Shawn Denlein, senior vice president of sales and marketing.

Hankook’s Shawn Denlein, senior vice president of sales and marketing, updated attendees on several initiatives, including the conclusion of the tiremaker’s first “Hankook Heroes” Facebook campaign. Denlein awarded Derrelle Ruschel, this year’s winner, for the good he does using his car and tires. Derelle, a married husband of four children, was nominated by his wife for his dedication to his family and unending devotion to raising the couple’s four boys.

Hankook also announced the launch of its new Facebook campaign, “Models vs. Drivers.” In the campaign, which runs Oct. 31 through Nov. 30, Hankook’s Formula Drift models and drivers will compete in a battle for fans. Voters will be asked to pick a team to cheer for, and have the opportunity to win a meet-and-greet with the Hankook models or an in-car racetrack ride with a Hankook driver at a Formula Drift event of their choice. Voters of the team with the most fans will be entered to win the grand prize. For more information, visit the Hankook USA Facebook page at