Hankook and the DTM return to Germany’s Lausitzring is the venue for round seven of the DTM season with the title race coming to a head. The exclusive tyre supplier to the series says that its race tyre could play a key role in the final stages of the season, due to its “high degree of consistency and predictability”, which allow for aggressive race strategies.
Between 2006 and 2013, the DTM touring car series was a regular visitor to the Brands Hatch circuit in Kent, and following a four-year hiatus DTM drivers will race there once again this weekend. Instead of using the 1.2-mile Indy circuit favoured in past years, the action in 2018 will take place on the full, 2.4-mile GP circuit.
The Hankook supplied DTM championship enters the final third of its 2017 season at the Nürburgring this weekend for races 13 and 14. The tyre manufacturer and exclusive DTM partner states that the correct management of the race tyre and a pit stop strategy tailored to the racetrack and the car set-up will be keys to success in the Eifel Mountains. In the last meeting at Zandvoort, discussed in the video below, this was exemplified by Loic Duval (Audi), who climbed from 13th on the grid to finish runner-up, completing 26 of the 37 laps on one set of the Ventus Race – the longest stint by any of the drivers, and one that earned him the first podium of his DTM career.
The grand finale of the DTM season will be contested on the Hockenheimring, as is traditional, and the touring car series’ exclusive tyre supplier, Hankook will this year celebrate five years and 56 races. For Pascal Wehrlein, the final weekend could turn into a victory parade. The Mercedes-Benz driver currently leads the drivers’ classification with a 37-point advantage and has been allocated just 2.5kg more performance weight than his closest rivals Edoardo Mortara and Mattias Ekström (both Audi).
With its many corners, the 3.931km Moscow Raceway is one of the slower tracks on the DTM calendar. The fastest passage is the almost 900 metre home straight, where race cars reach a top speed of just on 250km/h. On the counter-clockwise track, Hankook’s race tyres come under a heavy load on the cars’ right side, but this has no impact on the performance of the tyre. “The team engineers correct this, for instance, by making different adjustments to the air pressure on the left and right sides depending on the load. The highest tyre wear occurs on the right front, but our Ventus Race withstood this impressively over the last years,” explains Hankook’s DTM race engineer Thomas Baltes.
2 May sees the beginning of the 2015 DTM season at the Hockenheimring, marking the fifth year of Hankook’s tyre supply to the championship. The brand’s presence in top line German motorsport has functioned as a component of its process of premiumisation – not only has the manufacturer been producing high specification track tyres accepted by DTM; it has been able to function as an exclusive tyre partner with Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz within the series.