DTM to Form “Core” of Hankook Motorsport Activities
When this year’s DTM touring car masters’ series gets underway at Germany’s Hockenheimring on May 1 the competing cars will take to the track on Hankook tyres. The Korean tyre maker confirms it has signed an agreement to take over from Dunlop as exclusive tyre supplier to the series for a three-year period.
This exclusive partnership heralds a new era in Hankook Tire’s motor sport activities, the company states. In recent years, Hankook has focused its track racing motor sport activities on long-distance events such as the 24-hours classics in Le Mans and on the Nürburgring. Looking ahead into the future, Hankook says the DTM will form the core of the international Hankook motor sport activities.
“The DTM is one of the most professional racing series around,” commented Jin-Wook Choi, executive vice-president and European head of Hankook Tire. “Together with Audi and Mercedes-Benz, two of the world’s most successful premium car manufacturers, the DTM represents top-level international motor sport. That’s why we are very pleased at the trust and confidence that event organisers, vehicle manufacturers, and teams have placed in us and our brand, and we are proud to have been selected as the exclusive tyre partner for the years to come. Now we will focus all our efforts on bringing our motto ‘Driving Emotion’ home to global fans of the DTM as well, and on demonstrating the superior quality of our products.”
Hans Werner Aufrecht, 1st chairman of the Board of ITR e.V., the company that promotes and holds commercial rights to the DTM, added: “We are very happy with the long-term partnership with premium tyre manufacturer Hankook. During the negotiations prior to signing this contract, it already became apparent how motivated those in charge at Hankook are while dealing with the DTM project. The performance of the race tyres also convinced everyone involved right away. Personally, I am happy that we have found another international corporate group that is willing and able to keep our high pace and our quality standards as an exclusive supplier in the years to come. Hankook has everything it takes for that.”
During the 2011 season Hankook will support current DTM teams Audi and Mercedes-Benz in the following two years extend its support to BMW and any other teams that join the series. “We are looking forward to a good co-operation with the DTM’s new tyre partner,” said Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, head of Audi Motorsport. “In testing, we got to know a very competent partner and we hope that the experience we have acquired together will be the basis for a long and successful co-operation with Hankook.”
Norbert Haug, vice president of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, stated: “Hankook is an ideal partner for the teams and manufacturers of DTM. The great enthusiasm and commitment of our new tyre partner and their representatives is obvious. The technical competence of Hankook for the demanding task to provide all DTM competitors with standardised tyres was already proved at the first tests. That this new partnership is highly interesting for the ITR and therefore for all DTM teams from a commercial point of view, rounds off this co-operation in an ideal way.”
In 2011, the DTM will begin its twelfth season after its comeback in 2000. DTM fans can look forward to an exciting season featuring a great many highlights. In the coming year, as in years past, Audi and Mercedes-Benz will continue to share responsibility for the sporting content of the racing series by providing racing versions of their series-produced vehicles: Audi with the A4 DTM and Mercedes-Benz with the racing version of the AMG Mercedes C-Class. The vehicles will be fitted with Ventus racing tyres.