Compiled by SEMA Editors
Chris Corbett, Nitto Tire U.S.A.’s events and motorsports manager (left), and Dave Cole, president of Hammerking Productions/Ultra4 Racing (right).
Nitto Tire Named Title Sponsor of 2015 King of the Hammers
Nitto Tire U.S.A. has signed an agreement with Hammerking Productions (Ultra4) to be title sponsor of the 2015 Nitto King of the Hammers (KOH) race. Nitto Tire was previously the race’s presenting sponsor.
The King of the Hammers race is a one-day event in off-road racing and covers more than 200 miles on a course that combines triple-digit-speed desert sections with technical boulder climbs that often require winching. The 2015 running—the ninth annual King of the Hammers—will be the first one with Nitto Tire as the title sponsor.
The Nitto King of the Hammers race for the unlimited Ultra4 vehicles takes place February 6, 2015, in Johnson Valley, California. “Hammertown” on Means Dry Lake will open January 30 to kick off a full week of ultimate desert and rock action. Competition begins with the King of the Motos race February 1–2. The carnage-fest East/West Shootout on February 2 pits Southeastern Rock Racing Series (SRRS) drivers against Ultra4 racers in an obstacle course challenge.
Competition continues February 4 with the Polaris KOH UTV race. Street-based 4x4s hit the course February 5 for the Smittybilt Everyman Challenge. The action peaks Friday, February 6, with the main event: The Nitto Tire King of the Hammers race. Competitors will spend all day (and part of the night for the non-front-runners) on the approximately 225-mile course. The “King” will be officially crowned Saturday morning, followed by new-for-2015 “KOH The Experience” enthusiast trail rides.
Falken Tire has a new endorsement agreement with factory Kawasaki Rider Davi Millsaps.
Falken Signs Supercross Star Davi Millsaps
Falken Tire has maintained a strong presence for many years in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross—an FIM World Championship series—as the Official Passenger Car and Light Truck Tire and returns in 2015 with a new endorsement agreement with factory Kawasaki Rider Davi Millsaps.
Returning to competition in 2015 after sitting out much of the previous year recuperating from knee surgery, Millsaps, aboard his new Kawasaki, is set to become a force once more in the Monster Energy Supercross Series and will be ready to run at the first event this weekend in Anaheim, California. The Murrieta, California, resident most recently won the Monster Energy Cup in Las Vegas.
Millsaps turned pro in 2004 and finished second overall in the Monster Energy Supercross Championship in 2012 and 2013. An injury sidelined him for most of 2014, but he recently signed with Kawasaki and is confident about his prospects.
Mickey Thompson will support the Yamalube Star Racing Yamaha team throughout the 2015 AMA Supercross and Motocross seasons.
Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels to Sponsor Yamalube Star Racing Yamaha Team for the 2015 Season
Mickey Thompson has announced its sponsorship of the Yamalube Star Racing Yamaha team in the 250 class for the 2015 racing season. The Yamalube Star Racing Yamaha team was recently recognized as the National Team of the Year. After dominating the 2014 season, team member Jeremy Martin earned the 2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Series Championship crown after two full competitive seasons, with teammate Cooper Webb finishing third overall for the season.
Mickey Thompson will support the team throughout the 2015 AMA Supercross and Motocross seasons, including the FELD Cup competition. Both the Mickey Thompson and Deegan brands will be represented throughout the season, including the display of the Mickey Thompson Deegan 38 tire and wheel products at each event.
American Robert Thorne joins Flying Lizard Motorsport for his return to the Rolex 24, seven years after his first run at the event.
Flying Lizard Motorsports Announces Rolex 24 Driver Lineup
After a controversial second-place finish at the 2014 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, Flying Lizard Motorsports has announced the driver lineup for their fight for the 2015 endurance event title. The #45 Audi R8 LMS will be driven by Japan's Tomonobu Fujii and Satoshi Hoshino, American Robert Thorne and German Markus Winkelhock. The team heads to Daytona International Speedway, January 9–11 to participate in the first official test of the season at the Roar Before the 24.
Audi Japan Super GT driver Tomonobu Fujii holds the 2007 Japan Le Mans Challenge LMGT1 title, the 2011 Super Taikyu Endurance Japan Champion title and a podium at the 2013 Dubai 24 Hours. In his past 10 years of experience in Super GT, Fujii picked up eight wins and 21 podiums. After finishing third and second at the Super GT Sprint Grand Prix in 2010 and 2011, Fuji went on to win the event in 2012. 2015 will mark the 34-year old's first Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona.
Also new to the Rolex 24, Satoshi Hoshino brings experience of the Audi R8 LMS GT3 in GT Asia, as well as the 2014 class champion title in the Porsche Carrera Cup Japan. In the past four race seasons, Hoshino earned 18 wins in a variety of races around Japan.
American Robert Thorne joins Flying Lizard Motorsport for his return to the Rolex 24, seven years after his first run at the event. Thorne closed out the 2014 race season in Pirelli World Challenge with a win for K-PAX Racing at Miller Motorsports Park.
Markus Winkelhock completed the final laps in the No. 45 Flying Lizard Audi in the 2014 Rolex 24. In his other run at the event in 2013, Winkelhock was running second in the final lap, close behind the class leader when his car ran out of fuel, resulting in a frustrating 15th-place finish.