Saturday, January 09, 2010
Nitto Tire and sponsored driver Ryan Gates recently clenched the 2009 Redline Time Attack series championship. The team competed in the Modified All-Wheel Drive (AWD) class, which requires all drivers to use off-the-shelf, street legal tires. Using Nitto’s NT01 road race radials equipped on a Mitsubishi Evo X, the team attended seven of the eight events and won each event they attended. This is Nitto’s first Redline Time Attack championship.
A typical Redline Time Attack event includes several morning practice sessions that allow drivers to fine tune their vehicles and racing lines. After practice, each class has two competition sessions; each is comprised of one warm up lap and three hot laps. The driver with the fastest hot lap time at the end of the day is declared the winner.
The event format worked well for Gates, who performed consistently all season. Gates attributed his success in part to the NT01 road race radials, saying, “I chose to run NT01s for their performance, but I was pleasantly surprised with how long they lasted! Having the ability to run consistent lap times, whether the tires were fresh or worn was a huge benefit. During our test sessions our used NT01s provided very similar performance and feedback to a fresh set.”
Both the consistency of the tire and Gates’ driving was evident throughout the season. In Round 3, Gates put down an exceptionally fast hot lap, winning the event by more than 3 seconds. In a series where the difference between first and second place is sometimes determined in milliseconds, this is no small feat. Gates’ hot streak continued in Round 6 where his time was not only faster than his class competitors, but also faster than many of the times in the unlimited classes, which allow greater vehicle modifications and have the competitive advantage of using race slicks.
In addition to the Redline Time Attack series, Gates and Nitto also drove in the Super Lap Battle and NASA Time Trials series, where they won every event in which they competed. In all, Gates set nine new track records: seven in Redline Time Attack, one in Super Lap Battle and two in NASA Time Trials.
“We are proud to support grassroots racing and drivers like Ryan,” said Harry Kong, from Nitto’s marketing department. “We had a winning combination with a great driver, reliable car, and consistent tires. Our 2009 season speaks highly of Ryan’s capabilities and our NT01 road race radials.” This D.O.T.-compliant competition radial comes with 6/32nds tread depth, which makes it competitive right off the shelf. The NT01 can also be shaved down to 3/32nds to reveal a slick tire surface with two circumferential grooves for maximum performance. Nitto's compound, tread pattern and construction technology enables the NT01 to deliver the best balance of traction, durability and treadlife. The result is a tire that performs consistently lap after lap. To find a dealer near you, logon to NittoTire.com.
Nitto Tire develops performance tires for all uses, including racing, off-road and street. Using state-of-the-art manufacturing and testing facilities in Japan and the United States, the company strives to provide innovative and high-quality performance tires for the most demanding enthusiasts. For more information about Nitto or its products, visit the company's web site or contact the company directly. Nitto and Fueled by Enthusiasts are registered trademarks of Nitto Tire U.S.A. Inc., located at 6021 Katella Ave., Ste 250, Cypress, CA 90630.