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New Hankook DTM slick heads to the next race weekend at the Lausitzring
- - The DTM opener in Hockenheim two weeks ago greatly exceeded the high expectations. The spectators witnessed spectacular racing at its finest, with numerous overtaking manoeuvres, different strategies and thrilling duels right down to the final lap. The newly developed race tyre from exclusive DTM partner Hankook was largely responsible for this impressive start to the season. The extremely soft slick enables super-fast lap times; with this tyre, Lucas Auer set a new DTM pole record at the Hockenheimring in the qualifying session for race one. But, as mentioned, the new Ventus Race wore down much faster than its predecessor, meaning that tyre management played a significant role. How the teams and drivers handle the new Hankook slick will once again be a deciding factor at the Lausitzring, the second stop on the DTM tour.
Klettwitz/Germany, 17th May 2017 – This weekend probably the most popular international touring car series heads to the Lausitzring, which in contrast with the high-speed track in Hockenheim is one of the slower DTM tracks. However, with twelve turns and only a few straights, the 3.478-kilometre asphalt surface in Lower Lusatia is extremely challenging from a technical perspective. The Hankook race tyres need to provide a lot of traction in the narrow passages and the zigzag infield in particular, so that the drivers can accelerate out of these sections rapidly.
It is important that the drivers bring the slick of premium tyre maker Hankook, which is no longer allowed to be warmed up in advance, to the optimum operating temperature as quickly as possible with the many changes of direction. ‘The asphalt at the Lausitzring doesn’t have much grip, it is porous and flat. To be able to reach the ideal temperature range of the Ventus Race quickly despite this, the chassis of the car, particularly the suspension, needs to be modified. However, the setup must not be too aggressive, so as to avoid putting too much strain on the tyres,” explained Thomas Baltes, Hankook DTM race engineer.
The top speed at the Lausitzring is reached on the start-finish straight, at about 240 km/h. At the end of this high-speed passage, there is some bouncing (fast up and down movements at the front of the car) caused by the undulated surface. Thomas Baltes: ‘With the combination of a good car set-up and the right air pressure, the cars can be optimised in these areas. However, the tyre pressure must not be too low, otherwise too much stress will be put on the construction of the Hankook slick.”
‘At the Lausitzring, more has been demanded of the tread of the Hankook race tyre than of its construction in previous years. This won’t change with the new slick. The key is in setting the air pressure in the cold tyres at the start so that it rises to the ideal value when warming up to reach the optimum temperature range,” said the Hankook DTM race engineer.