DTM, Hankook to complete 2013 season at Hockenheimring
The DTM season ends this weekend at the same place where it began in May, the Hockenheimring. While the drivers’ title has already been won by Mike Rockenfeller (Audi), and Augusto Farfus’s overall second place is unassailable, the BMW could achieve the rare feat of claiming two DTM races in the same year at the course in Hardtwald. In the third year of its involvement in the touring car series, exclusive tyre partner Hankook’s newly developed option tyres have provided an extra dimension to every DTM race.
The 4.574km long track in Hockenheim is varied, with fast straights and bends alternating with slow sections and hairpins. While the Parabolika demands perfect aerodynamics from drivers as they aim for top speeds of up to 260km/h, the narrow Motodrom requires maximum grip. Anyone looking for success in Hockenheim needs to find a sensible compromise in the car set-up. This is no easy task when the goal is to master such contrasting sections as the fast Parabolika and the slow Motodrom. “But that is precisely what makes the whole thing so interesting and demanding,” says Hankook’s DTM racing engineer, Christophe Stucki.
The fights for the manufacturers’ and team titles are expected to be very exciting, since they are both fully open, as the final event at Hockenheim begins. “Racing strategy will play an important role, as ever, but I assume that the qualifying will have quite a decisive effect. Whoever comes out in front will have the best chances of a good position,” believes Stucki.
Tyre wear on the rough, partially black asphalt in Hockenheim is moderately high. In previous years, the Ventus Race Prime slicks have made for very fast lap times right through to the end. Due to its compound, the option tyre will wear slightly more quickly on this surface.
The DTM racing engineer continues: “Depending on the manufacturer and the way the car is set up, it should be possible to complete a considerable number of fast laps with the Ventus Race Plus before it drops-off. However, the weather also plays a role, because the softer tread of the option tyres means that they only display maximum performance at track temperatures of over 20 degrees.”
Since the fast Hankook tyres are only permitted in races, the teams have had no reference values at their disposal at the previous stops in the tour. The situation in Hockenheim is different though, as Ventus Race Plus tyres have already been employed at the first race in May. Hankook’s DTM racing engineer Christophe Stucki: “Yes that has supplied us with some data that may be of use, but many cars and motorcycles have been round this track since May, which means that the surface is not the same as it was five months ago. The same applies to the general conditions, such as the temperature and even the driver’s form on the day. You will never find the same conditions twice, and this is precisely what makes motorsports so exciting – there is always more for you to learn.”