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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

HKS R33 to retire

Legendary HKS Skyline R33 Drag Car to Be Retired

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- HKS USA, Inc., the premier manufacturer and supplier of automotive performance systems, today announced that parent company, HKS Co., Ltd., has decided that it will retire the legendary HKS All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) R33 Drag GT-R after nearly a decade of racing. The HKS R33 Drag GT-R has long been one of the most recognized symbols of the HKS global brand, and held the title to world's fastest AWD Drag car for almost five years with its remarkable 7.671 second
pass at Japan's Sendai circuit in October 2001. After years of touring the world showcasing HKS' great engineering talents, the decision was made this week that the R33 would no longer be available for competition, yet it would be displayed at the February Import All-Stars Zeroyon Drag Challenge in Taupo, New Zealand, before returning to Japan.

"This was an incredibly difficult decision for the management of HKS Co., Ltd. We labored long over the decision because of what the HKS R33 has meant to HKS fans around the world, as well as the fact the car was to compete in New Zealand in February," said Rick Lafferty, president, HKS USA, Inc. and HKS International, Inc. "Just like any complex machine, time and stress takes a toll and safety comes into question. The safety of the driver and the audience was the deciding factor in the R33's retirement."

Although HKS Motorsports' original intention was to rebuild the R33 for the upcoming New Zealand event, a number of critical problems were discovered that forced HKS into making its decision. In addition to the expected engine rebuild, several major components required replacement. After searching for new replacement parts, it was discovered that many of the parts used on the R33 were no longer available from the vehicle's manufacturer. Another contributing factor was the overall condition of the
R33. The chassis' torsional rigidity has reached a critical safety point,and without an extensive overhaul the car could put both the driver and team in an unsafe position. All these factors are a result of the age of the car and the exceptional stress loads it has endured over the years.

"While the HKS R33 cannot compete we wanted to provide the New Zealand import racing fans the opportunity to see the car and at the same time allow HKS and the HKS R33 to pass the drag race record challenge on to one of the new generation Skyline drag cars," Lafferty continued.

About HKS USA, Inc.
HKS USA, Inc. is a leading manufacturer and supplier of automotive aftermarket performance systems, parts and accessories. Delivering its products to both the import and domestic car markets, HKS has been recognized for its engineering and performance excellence in the automotive industry since 1973. Established in 1982, HKS USA, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of HKS Company, Ltd. Japan and distributes its products through its worldwide dealer network. For more information about HKS USA., visit their website at

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