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Premium tyre maker Hankook and the DTM put in a guest appearance at the final of the SUPER GT in Japan
- - Following the spectacular season finale at the Hockenheimring, the DTM and exclusive tyre partner Hankook are heading for extra time in the land of the rising sun. On 11th and 12th November, all three manufacturers competing in what is arguably the most popular international touring car series, Audi, BMW and Mercedes AMG will be at the final of the SUPER GT series in Motegi/Japan, returning the visit made by the SUPER GT during their own last race weekend of the season in Hockenheim. The drivers Loïc Duval (Audi), Augusto Farfus (BMW) and Maro Engel (Mercedes AMG) will be joining the SUPER GT vehicles from Honda, Lexus and Nissan Nismo on the track in Motegi for demonstration laps on the Hankook race tyres – Ventus F200 for dry and Ventus Z207 for wet, which has been used in different configurations in the DTM since the première of the premium tyre maker back in 2011. The trip to Japan has been organised in order to intensify the cooperation between the ITR as the umbrella organisation of the DTM and the GTA, its counterpart for SUPER GT, and to draw up joint technical rules. This would be the prerequisite to be able to use the cars in both series from 2019 onwards.
Neu-Isenburg/Germany, 30th October 2017 – Two of the three DTM drivers have driven in the SUPER GT before. Audi driver Loïc Duval is an old hand in this series. The 35-year-old sat in the cockpit from 2006 to 2012, took five chequered flags in 57 races and started from pole position six times. “As a former SUPER GT Champion, I am looking forward to returning to Japan with my Audi RS 5 DTM,” said the Frenchman, who won the Championship title in 2010 with the Weider Honda Racing team together with Takashi Kogure.
Augusto Farfus is also familiar with the SUPER GT series and the Japanese motorsports scene as a whole. The BMW driver took part in several races in the GT300 category and finished third during the 1000km race in Suzuka in 2014. “I have been impressed again and again by the enthusiasm shown by Japanese motorsports fans, and am very proud to be able to present the BMW M4 DTM to them,” said the Brazilian, who will be at the wheel of Tom Blomqvist’s car.
Maro Engel, on the other hand, is not only a rookie in the SUPER GT series, he has never even visited Japan before. “I have heard so much about the great atmosphere at the tracks there and am curious to see what reception our Mercedes-AMG DTM will get from the Japanese spectators” said the DTM returnee, who won this latest season in Moscow for the very first time.
Manfred Sandbichler, Hankook Motorsport Director Europe: “This guest appearance by Hankook and the DTM in Japan will be a great experience. The DTM vehicles with our Hankook race tyres will be create a stir among the Japanese fans, just like the recent appearance of the SUPER GT vehicles during the final in Hockenheim. This return visit to Japan is ringing in a partnership which will make the two, already very popular series, even more attractive.”