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Champions of the Extreme

Hankook Tire races around the demanding Nürburgring

The lure of extremely loud engine noises and meticulous driving at lightning speeds will excite any spectators attending spectacular motorsport events. When the extraordinary stamina of the driver, the durability of the vehicle, and the performance of the tires all combine, these three elements decide the outcome of these extreme races.

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The tire chosen by race cars

Motorsports remain one of the best ways to advertise brands and products within the automotive industry. Specifically for races synonymous with extreme speeds, high-performance tires which provide excellent grip and the best braking are essential components. Comprehensive research that precisely considers a lighter and more robust structure, the best materials, and tread designs are acutely necessary to develop tires that deliver the vital needs of the sport. Therefore, being selected as an official tire sponsor of a motorsport event is a clear sign that the brand's technological capabilities and products’ performances are recognized at the highest level.

Since 2015, Hankook Tire has been named as the title sponsor of the "24H Series" in line with its exclusive supply contract. Presently, the 24H Series is the biggest endurance race hosted in South Korea, eagerly attended by participants from global premium brands including Porsche, Ferrari, and Mercedes Benz. This endurance race has enabled Hankook Tire to prove its premium technology and product quality.

Benchmark of the automotive industry

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The beautiful and yet treacherous Nürburgring track remains one of the longest in the world. Located at the center of the Eifel mountains, the Nürburgring is comprised of an extreme elevation change, from 320 m to 627.7 m. Such an elevation change could lead to the track being exposed to a range of weather conditions, meaning it could be raining on one section while the other may be sunny. After passing through these treacherous sections of the track, the drivers may get a brief glimpse of beautiful villages or deep forests in the distance.

The Nürburgring track, known as a mecca for gearheads, consists of diverse and dynamic road conditions that challenge and stimulate all of the race car drivers’ senses. It also serves as the ultimate proving ground for products across the automotive industry, testing the level of performance and seriously pushing the limits. This is why many renowned car and tire brands flock to this challenging track. These companies apply detailed and tangible results obtained from undertaking rigorous testing at the Nürburgring to their product research and development process.

Running for 24 hours straight ‘The Nürburgring 24H’

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The Nürburgring 24H is an endurance racing event where the team who completes the most laps within 24 hours wins. However, winning is never easy. Speed alone will not guarantee success. Experienced drivers and mechanics must balance the wear and tear of the tires and engine while maintaining the peak performance of the vehicle throughout the race. In particular, due to the harsh and dynamic nature of the Nürburgring's tracks, driver stamina, vehicle durability, and an acute tire usage strategy must be well-integrated and balanced for any of the competing teams to come out on top.

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The race cars only rely on the headlamps to race after dark

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Hankook Tire joined forces with the top competitor, FFF Racing Team, for the 2021 Nürburgring 24H. The racing cars used Hankook Tire's F200, Z207, and Z218 Ventus racing tires. Although Hankook Tire is already an established name in motorsports, this Nürburgring partnership is highly significant because it will help the company bolster its position and showcase its products on the world stage.

Ventus races around the Nürburgring

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Ventus F200. It is a dry track-only tire that can run at 300 km/h

What performance requirements are essential for racing tires? When asked to describe a tire, a tread design with raised surfaces springs to mind. However, slick tires without any patterns or grooves are completely common in races. The tire grip is crucial for cars driving at extremely high speeds, and the larger the contact patch generates, the better the grip. The Ventus F200 is an excellent example of a slick tire and was one of the tires utilized by the FFF racing team at the Nürburgring 24H.

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However, not all racing tires are pattern-free, as speed is not the only thing that matters. In particular, at the Nürburgring, establishing a comprehensive tire strategy is an obligatory requirement to respond to the diverse road surfaces and climatic conditions. The Z207 and Z218, tires used by the F200 to race at the Nürburgring, are rain-only tires that prevent hydroplaning* in wet conditions and achieve excellent stability and drainage performance. As it is impossible to reduce your speed during a race because of rain, tires require a tread pattern that quickly disperses water. The Ventus Z207 and Z218 have a thin tread pattern so that the sides never slip even when passing through curves at high speeds.

* Hydroplaning: The condition in which a vehicle loses traction with the road due to a thin film of water between the tires and the road while driving at high speeds. When hydroplaning occurs, steering and braking can become limited and highly dangerous.

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Hankook Tire happily participates in leading global motorsport events, such as the 24H Series, Super Taikyu Series, TCR Germany, TCR Italy, and W Series, to promote motorsport and its related culture. As part of such persistent efforts, Hankook Tire develops the racing tires and supports the Korean racing team AtlasBX Motorsports, the winner of the GT4 class of the 24H Dubai 2020. Hankook Tire will continue to work tirelessly to promote the development of motorsports using its symbolic brand image and advanced technology it has accumulated through participating in such dramatic events over the years.