Hankook and German touring car series DTM are marking a decade-long partnership this season. The manufacturer has supplied tyres at more than 150 races, with the Hankook Ventus Race demonstrating its quality in a diverse range of conditions. Following its DTM debut in 2011, Hankook has developed the tyre in four phases to tackle new developments in the series.
Formula Renault Eurocup exclusive tyre supplier Hankook is looking forward to the second half of the 2020 series, describing it as “one of the strongest Formula series in the world.” Supplying its Ventus Race tyre since 2019, Hankook visited Zandvoort, Netherlands to mark the halfway point in the delayed 2020 season – the first time Formula Renault Eurocup has raced at the circuit since 2000. Victor Martins enjoyed three successful days at the circuit in the dunes on the Dutch coast, consolidating his position at the top of the overall standings, courtesy of a victory and a second place.
Audi announced its withdrawal from the German Touring Car Masters (DTM), effective at the end of the 2020 season. As things stand, BMW will be the only remianing factory team at the beginning of 2021; R-Motorsport dropped out earlier in the year. Audi wants to concentrate on Formula E and customer sport in the future according to a statement from Ingolstadt. The 2020 season of DTM has yet to start, due to the Coronavirus pandemic. DTM has not started its 2020 series yet due to the Coronavirus crisis, but has announced a new Esports series with Hankook a founding partner.
Long-standing tyre partner to DTM, Hankook is entering virtual motorsport with the German touring car series. The tyre manufacturer has become a founding partner of the DTM Esports Classic Challenge. The newly created race series brings together 15 current and former drivers of the DTM and the DTM Trophy. It is also adding a further five participants from the RaceRoom community of Esports racers. These challengers will be selected from the top 100 fastest racers, who proved themselves in a qualification round for the first race which started on 27 April. Professionally commentaters will provide race summaries in English.
Hankook Tire has become a sponsor of the Nürburgring Endurance Series, the race event at the renown German circuit that previously went by the name VLN Endurance Championship and billed as the largest motorsport championship in the world. The tyre maker hopes this new tie-up will be the start of a “long term partnership” with the retitled, open tyre supply motorsport series.
Hankook has extended its partnership with European touring cars, with another partnership with a promising new racing series. The new DTM Trophy will run on the Ventus Race tyre, with on-site support from the tyre manufacturer from the 2020 season. Hankook has signed a four-year contract with DTM umbrella organisation ITR, which will promote the new GT series. The new series will run as part of the support programme at seven rounds of the popular DTM series, which Hankook has supported as exclusive tyre partner since 2011.
René Rast claimed his fifth win of the season in the 500th DTM at Lausitzring and extended his lead in the Drivers’ Championship. Behind Rast, second to fifth places went to fellow Audi racers Nico Müller, Mike Rockenfeller, Jamie Green and Robin Frijns as the Ingolstadt carmaker secured early confirmation of victory in the Manufacturers’ Championship. In the Saturday race, Nico Müller won to close the gap on Rast, who was forced to retire with technical issues. Frijns and Rockenfeller were second and third to make it a one-two-three for Audi. Track temperatures were high for both races – up to 40 degrees Celsius on Sunday – while Hankook’s Ventus Race tyres impressed with a high level of grip on the smooth surface.
Hankook will continue as the exclusive supplier of DTM for the next four years, having signed an early extension to its partnership contract with DTM marketer ITR. The tyre maker has been involved in one of the most popular international touring car series as official partner and exclusive tyre supplier since 2011. The new contract means Hankook will become the longest-standing tyre supplier in the history of the international racing series.
A third-place finish at the Hockenheimring in Germany yesterday sufficed for Gary Paffett to clinch his second DTM title. The British driver ended the season with 255 points, four points ahead of last year’s champion René Rast. This year’s victory in the touring car championship comes 13 years after Paffett won his first DTM title.
With his win at Brands Hatch last weekend, Paul Di Resta closed the gap with championship leader, fellow Mercedes-Benz driver Garry Paffett, to just 29 points in the overall standings. This was Di Resta’s third win in Brands Hatch and the tenth of his DTM career. Gary Paffett crossed the finish line as runner-up after 40 laps of racing.
An agreement signed at Autosport International last week seals Hankook Tire’s status as exclusive original equipment tyre supplier to Peterborough-based sportscar manufacturer Radical. Hankook tyres will be fitted to Radical’s road and racing models, and through the supply partnership Hankook will be represented in various international racing series in which Radical is closely involved.
The conclusion of this year’s DTM season left fingernails bitten down to the quick. With no less than six potential candidates in the running to claim the touring car series, the question as to who’d finish on top of the drivers’ championship table stayed open right until the chequered flag waved the end of play at the Hockenheimring circuit. In the end, honours went to Audi works driver René Rast, whose second-placed finish on the day pushed his season tally to 179 points, three points ahead of incumbent championship leader and fellow Audi pilot Mattias Ekström and six ahead of British driver Jamie Green, whose hopes of a championship win were dealt a stinging blow the previous day through a ten-place grid penalty for the final race.
Following the season finale at the Hockenheimring in Germany last month, the DTM touring car championship and exclusive tyre partner Hankook are heading for extra time in the land of the rising sun. On 11 and 12 November, the three competing manufacturers, Audi, BMW and Mercedes AMG, will be present at the final of the Super GT series in Motegi/Japan, returning the visit to Hockenheim made by Super GT.
The new BMW M4 GT4 made its competitive debut in the ADAC Zurich 24-hour race at the Nürburgring late last month, running on Hankook Ventus Race tyres, and Hankook Tire has now begun supplying this tyre as original equipment for cars sold to customer racing teams around the world. BMW Motorsport has selected the Ventus Race in size 300/660 R18, on 11×18-inch rims, for the 431 hp, straight-six M4 GT4.
Hankook supplied the tyres for the TCR and GT4 classes, including the new BMW M4 GT4, which made its official race debut in the Nürburgring 24 Hour race. 21 cars out of the 160 starters ran on with its Ventus Race range; the manufacturer supplied a total of 1,500 tyres for the Eifel region event. Hankook states that the slick tyre provided a consistently high level of grip both in daytime track temperatures of up to 47 degrees and on a cooler track during the night. The manufacturer added that the tyres’ high level of consistency allowed drivers to clock fast lap times at the end of their stints.