FALKEN TIRE CLAD TEAMS EARN FIRST AND THIRD PLACE CLASS FINISHES IN ONE LAP OF AMERICA
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA – Proving yet again that Falken Tires have incredible longevity, two entrants in the historic One Lap of America took high honors, traveling more than 3,300 miles across 14 states on just one set of tires per vehicle for the entire event.
Mike Maier and Andrew McKee, driving a 2017 Mustang GT, earned 1st place in the GT2 Big Bore Class as well as Rookie of the Year. They ran the One Lap on 315/30/R18 Falken AZENIS RT615K+ tires sitting on MMI-designed wheels with forged centers.
Andy Smedegard, Ronnie Soliman and Brandon Ranvek pulled out a 3rd place finish in the Mid-Priced Sedan Class with their 2006 Mitsubishi Evolution IX, despite missing three of the contests during the event due to mechanical issues. The team ran 315/30/R18 Falken AZENIS RT615K+ tires on Enkei 18x10.5 NT03 wheels.
Brock Yates’ One Lap of America, presented by TireRack.com, has a well-established history and storied reputation that goes back to 1984 and before that, through the Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Dash that was founded by Mr. Yates in 1971. Yates Sr. passed away in 2016 and the event is now lead by his son, Brock Yates, Jr.
The annual event continues to attract substantial competitors and this year was no different as 68 entrants ran through 17 contests in their quest to set best times overall. The event started May 6, 2017, at Tire Rack’s headquarters in Indiana and ran down to Sebring International Raceway in Florida before teams headed back north, finishing back at Tire Rack on May 13th.
“Falken Tires is honored to support the 2017 Tire Rack Brock Yates’ One Lap of America,” said Nick Fousekis, Falken’s Director, Advertising and Promotions. “Serving as the ultimate street tire test bed, this event truly allowed the newly released Falken AZENIS RT615K+ to shine both in performance capability and durability.”
Both teams that took honors had seasoned drivers competing. Within the Ford team, Maier holds eight SCCA SOLO National championships and multiple podium finishes in the Optima Batteries Ultimate Street Car Association series. Teammate McKee also is an eight-time SCCA National Champion, SCCA Driver of Eminence award winner and holds a 20-year trophy streak at the SCCA Nationals.
Among the Mitsubishi trio, Soliman is a seasoned drag racer, while Ranvek has competed for several seasons in SCCA SOLO Autocross events, along with multiple entries in Optima Ultimate Streetcar and GridLife events. Smedegard also brings many years of SOLO Autocross experience to the table, with SOLO National wins in RTA and BS. He also has six years of track experience in Optima and GridLife events.
"We want to thank Brock Yates, Jr., and Falken Tires for giving the MMI crew the opportunity to be part of such a great event,” stated Maier and McKee. “Achieving a class win and a rookie of the year award are both really special."
Smedegard added, “The new AZENIS RT615k+ firmly puts Falken back in the performance street tire game. The tire delivers amazing grip right away, while taking heavy track with little wear.”
This year, Falken is introducing the AZENIS RT615K+, derived from the original championship-winning RT615K. The “Plus” configuration encompasses an all-new, nanotech-formulated compound for superior grip and superb handling. With 21 sizes, from 14- to 18-inch rim diameters, and a 200 AA UTQG-rating, the new Falken RT615K+ is the ultimate choice for performance compacts, sports coupes, sports sedans and muscle cars.