Hankook takes over as Formula 3 Euro tyre supplier
Last year Kumho announced it would cease its nine year-tenure as tyre supply to the Formula 3 Euro Series at the end of 2011. The series, run as part of the Hankook-supplied German Touring Car Masters (DTM), now has a new sole tyre supplier. Unsurprisingly, it’s Hankook.
“With immediate effect, the single-seaters of the planet’s most competitive young-gun series will be shod with high-performance racing tyres supplied by Hankook Tire,” the series organiser announced on 4 April. “The two-year deal signed by the ‘Formel 3 Euro Serie Vermarktungs GmbH’ and the Korean manufacturer guarantees both parties involved a long-term planning reliability.”
“After having been chosen as the exclusive tyre partner for DTM, we are delighted to now also become the tyre partner to the most important junior series in European motorsport, the Formula 3 Euro Series.” added Manfred Sandbichler, director Motorsport Hankook Tire Europe. “Supporting young talent in motorsport is very important to Hankook, and we are excited to provide the young talent in the Formula 3 Euro Series with our successful Ventus race tyres. We look forward to our first joint season and wish all the teams and drivers the best of luck.”
Hankook says it will benefit from synergy effects of this dual partnership. The Formula 3 Euro Series will ride on Hankook Ventus F200 racing tyres and utilise the Z206 as the front-axle rain option and the Z207 on the rear in sizes 180/550R13 and 240/570R13 respectively.
“In the DTM, the partnership between Hankook and ITR was exceptionally successful right from the beginning,” reflected Walter Mertes, ITR director for Marketing and Sponsorship and CEO of the Formula 3 Euro Series. “The quality of the tyres, the development expertise and service – the package as a whole – could not have been any better. The ITR as a long-time promoter and supporter of the F3 Euro Series is delighted to have Hankook as their proven partner join them in the promotion of young talent and also equip the young drivers with high-end tyres.”
The logic behind Kumho’s withdrawal as tyre supplier is no mystery. Hankook doesn’t just supply tyres to the DTM – anybody trackside at a Formula 3 Euro Series race – which this season continues to be held as part of the DTM events – will no doubt notice the prominent Hankook advertising around the circuit. It is therefore understandable that Kumho doesn’t wish to support a series where its rival is so visibly present.
The new tyres were on the grid for the first time during the pre-season tests on 17 – 18 March in Valencia and 21 – 22 March in Barcelona.