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Welcome to the Hankook Tire press room, where you can access the latest news on Hankook Tire and our industry.
Date 09/05/2011 Hits 71,885

Category Motorsports

Mike Rockenfeller makes short shrift

Mike Rockenfeller makes short shrift

- Audi driver Rockenfeller wins qualifying at the shortest track of the DTM
- Points’ leader Bruno Spengler starts only from eighth place into the race
- Hankook tyres master all the challenges at Brands Hatch

Fawkham/United Kingdom, 3rd September 2011 - Mike Rockenfeller made short shrift of the shortest circuit on the DTM calendar, only 1.929 kilometres long. At the circuit of Brands Hatch in the UK with its long heritage, the Audi driver claimed the maiden pole of his DTM career on Saturday and will be starting from first place into the race on Sunday. The 27-year old put on a tactical masterpiece. In the third heat, Rockenfeller only drove one fast lap and thus was able to claim qualifying victory in the decisive fourth session with the same, but still fresh and optimally working Hankook slick tyres. After a strong showing, Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz) was classified second from points’ runner-up Martin Tomczyk. With this grid position, the Audi driver has the best chance to reduce his seven points’ gap to championship leader Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz) in the race. In qualifying, Spengler was classified sixth and was docked two places on top of that, because his team had fitted the wrong tyres in free practice on Saturday morning. Thus, the 28-year old will only be starting from eighth place and could lose the championship lead. Two times’ DTM champion Timo Scheider, currently third in the drivers’ standings, couldn’t find his way at the bumpy and twisty track and ended up twelfth in qualifying, rather disappointing for his standards.

Mike Rockenfeller: “In the third heat, we decided after only one lap: we come in, we can’t do better than this. Therefore, I was able to go onto the track with fresher tyres in the decisive fourth heat and these tactics fully worked out with pole position. Like all season, the tyre is working well and consistently. Although Brands Hatch is one of the hardest tracks for the tyres, I am sure: the Hankook tyre will master it.”

Gary Paffett: “I am very happy with my second place on the grid. I had a good fourth heat, but Rocky was just stunning. The tyres were very good and quickly came to temperature in qualifying. On Friday, we did 60 laps with one set during a long run and they were still looking good. That says it all.”

After qualifying on Saturday, the particular challenges at Brands Hatch became apparent. With four right- and two left-hand corners, there is particular load on the left front tyre due to the high one-sided downforce. As a result, all teams opted for an asymmetric car set-up in order to reduce the permanent load on the entire left-hand side. Another real test for the cars and the tyres are the high kerbstones, with many drivers running over them and locking their wheel on the inside behind the kerb, which can put extra pressure on the wheels and the tyres. The significant undulation is not only demanding for the drivers, but also for the tyres, because in the ditches, there is extra load on the construction due to the high compression. In spite of this enormous charge, drivers can complete a stint of over 50 laps with only one set of Hankook tyres without losing performance. This is more than half of the entire race distance and this huge time frame enables every team to use a highly flexible race strategy.


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