Hankook celebrates successful DTM debut
High praise for Hankook came after the company’s first DTM race as exclusive tyre supplier. Following the weekend’s touring car race at the Hockenheim circuit in Germany, viewed by some 58,000 spectators including Hankook Tire executive vice-president and Europe COO Jin-Wook Choi and global CSFO Hyun-Bum Cho, race winner Bruno Spengler declared the Hankook Ventus race tyres to be “very good,” adding that “even though we are running a lot over the kerbs here at Hockenheim, the tyres remained consistent. That is really very good.”
The eight-time DTM race winner drove his AMG Mercedes C-Class over the finish line less than four seconds ahead of his Audi-driving opponent Mattias Ekström. Commenting on his performance, the Swedish driver said “for me, it was a great race. I had a good start and my car worked perfectly. There weren’t any problems with the tyres either.” Taking third place on the podium was Mercedes-Benz driver Ralf Schumacher, who enjoyed his first podium finish in five years and his first ever in the DTM. “Special thanks to Hankook,” he declared. “Somehow that seems to help a little bit. I think it is not natural for a new tyre manufacturer comes into a series and deliver a good and consistent tyre. Here at Hockenheim, we had no problems at all during testing and racing. Thanks to Hankook for being here with us. I think this is a really good addition for the DTM.”
On all the cars, the Ventus F200 DTM tyres completed the 174 kilometres long race distance without any problems. Audi’s head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, commented: “With Hankook, we now have a tyre that not only lasts throughout the race, but that we can also put pressure on.” Chairman of race organiser ITR, Hans Werner Aufrecht, also praised the new partner: “I can only say that I am impressed by everything that Hankook has achieved so far. After all, they are not only supplying all the teams with tyres, but they are also providing service. They have succeeded in developing a tyre for the two philosophies of the manufacturers that doesn’t give any one of the two a disadvantage. In doing so, they have done an incredibly tremendous job.”
Returning the positive comments from the race organiser and teams, Jin-Wook Choi commented “from the very beginning, we felt like a full partner of the DTM family. Now, we are positively looking forward to the next race at Zandvoort in a fortnight. A new challenge, but motivated by the positive result, we are very confident, also concerning the entire 2011 DTM season.”
Besides a successful DTM debut for its Ventus race tyres, Hankook had plenty to celebrate on the weekend. The Korean manufacturer marked its 70th anniversary, and the German football team that Hankook is a champion partner to, Borussia Dortmund, won the Bundesliga championship title the day before the race.