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Three racing series, three circuits, three countries – one tire partner: Hankook in international action this weekend
The race for the DTM title is coming to a head. The double-header in Zolder could decide which driver is crowned champion of the prestigious international touring car series on Hankook race tires. Going into the final third of the season, the only men still with a realistic chance of lifting the coveted trophy are championship leader Nico Müller (Audi) and his fellow Audi drivers Robin Frijns and René Rast, who are currently second and third in the overall standings. As reigning DTM champion, Rast is under pressure to perform and close the gap to Müller at the former Grand Prix circuit in Belgium if he is to have any chance of retaining the title at the season finale in Hockenheim (6th to 8th November). The Formula Renault Eurocup enters the second half of its season on the Hankook race tire at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The title race in the junior competition is still wide open with ten races remaining. Within the 24H Series powered by Hankook, the Coppa Florio - one of the oldest circuit races in the world – took place last weekend for the first time for 39 years.
Neu-Isenburg, Germany, October 12, 2020 - The first section of the four-kilometre Circuit Zolder is fast and flowing. This is followed in the second section by many changes of direction, tight corners and chicanes. This can place great strain on the brakes of the DTM cars. At the same time, the Hankook race tire must also provide plenty of traction, in order to allow fast acceleration out of these slower passages. “The asphalt in Zolder is very smooth. To get the Hankook Ventus Race working quickly and get heat into the tire, the teams should increase the start/finish tire pressure and the camber values,” explains Thomas Baltes, the Hankook race engineer responsible for the DTM.
The key to success in Zolder is a balanced set-up. When setting up the DTM cars, it is necessary to find a compromise that takes into account both the fast passages and the slow, winding sections. Driving style is still important when it comes to tire management. Thomas Baltes: “The low grip level of the asphalt in Zolder is a stress factor for the running surface of the Hankook race tire – albeit a minor one. In contrast, the high kerbs pose a challenge for the construction of the Ventus Race. As such, the drivers should avoid taking the kerbs at speed where possible. On the whole, the racetrack in Belgium represents an average burden for the Hankook race tire.”
While the DTM enters the final third of its season in Zolder, Barcelona marks the start of the second half of this year’s Formula Renault Eurocup. The young drivers who make up the strong field in this junior Formula series have completed ten of 20 races. The most recent rounds were dominated by the battle between championship leader Victor Martins of France and his closest rival, Brazil’s Caio Collet. The Frenchman has won four of the past six races, with the Brazilian taking victory in the other two races. The two high-flyers, who are separated by just two points, have benefitted from the consistently high performance of Hankook’s Ventus Race, and travel to Barcelona with good prospects of winning again. In third place, within striking distance of the leading pair, is newcomer David Vidales. The Spaniard will be looking to launch a fightback at the 4.655-kilometre circuit in his home country.
This weekend featured an absolute highlight on the tour calendar of the 24H Series powered by Hankook – the Coppa Florio 12H Sicily 2020. The Coppa Florio was held within the endurance series in Sicily for the first time for 39 years. The 24H Series powered by Hankook thus put one of the oldest circuit races in the world, which was first held under this name back in 1905, back on the international motorsport stage. The venue is Autodromo Pergusa, which is hosting an international racing event for the first time since 2012. The 4.950-kilometre strip of asphalt winds its way around the Lago di Pergusa, the only natural lake on Sicily.
The Coppa Florio 12H Sicily 2020 is the penultimate round of the 24H Series Europe. Roughly 30 cars, from GT to TCR, are registered in this series. The first part of the 12-hour race took place on Saturday 10th October, from 11:00 to 17:00. The second half of the race followed on Sunday 11th October, also from 11:00 to 17:00.