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.
As the exclusive supplier to the new TCR and GT4 classes competing in this season’s VLN Endurance Championship Nürburgring, Hankook will be in the thick of the action. The manufacturer states that one of its highlights of the weekend will be the race debut of the new BMW M4 GT4, which will run on Hankook racing tyres. The race coincides with the customer racing version of the car going on sale, also equipped with Hankook’s racing tyres.
The first two races of the DTM season have given drivers the chance to familiarise themselves with the new for 2017 Hankook slick and get reacquainted with the rain tyre. The Ventus Race debuted during Saturday’s event at Hockenheim in Germany, which was won by Mercedes-Benz driver Lucas Auer.
The first race of this year’s DTM season takes place at the Hockenheimring this weekend, and cars competing in the opening round of the touring car championship will drive on an all-new Hankook slick tyre. Hankook Tire reports that the new generation Ventus Race was developed in response to the wishes of series organiser ITR e.V. and while the dimensions have been carried over from the predecessor tyre, it offers a combination of more grip and faster degradation.
Cars competing in the DTM this season will wear a completely new generation of Hankook slick. The new Ventus Race is the fourth generation of Hankook slick supplied to the touring car championship and comes in the front axle size 300/680 R 18 and rear axle 320/710 R 18 – the same sizes as used in 2016. Hankook Tire states that it generates more grip than its predecessor and, when pushed hard, will wear more quickly and intensively than the tyres used last season. Depending on driving style, these characteristics are expected to significantly influence lap times.