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Hankook and Formula E celebrate major motorsport festival in Japan

2024. 04. 01

- With consistency, a high level of grip, and outstanding performance, Hankook iON Race made its successful premiere in Formula E Tokyo E-Prix
- A German driver Maximilian Günther from the Maserati MSG Racing team won the race
- A collaboration between Formula E and Ubisoft helped gamers experience the thrill of the fully electric racing series and the grip of the Hankook iON Race for themselves

Seoul, Korea, April 1, 2024 – What a magnificent premiere for Hankook and the Formula E World Championship in the land of the rising sun. Glorious sunshine, packed grandstands, and a thrilling race with many changes of position and a feast of action both on and off the track made the Tokyo E-Prix an acclaimed motorsport festival. The overjoyed winner at the narrow, 2.585-kilometer street circuit around the biggest exhibition site in Japan, “Tokyo Big Sight”, was 26-year-old Maximilian Günther from Germany. Success in race five of the season was victory number five in the fully electric series for the driver from the Maserati MSG Racing team. The Briton Oliver Rowland crossed the finish line in second place for the Nissan Formula E Team. He was followed in third place by his compatriot Jake Dennis (Andretti Formula E). German Pascal Wehrlein from the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team leads the overall standings after five of 16 races.

The Formula E caravan was greeted by heavy rainfall and strong wind in Tokyo on Friday morning. However, the clouds cleared and the temperature rose in time for the Shakedown and the first outing for the Hankook iON Race. In perfect dry conditions, the exclusive tire of the Formula E World Championship impressed from the outset with its now familiar qualities: consistency, a high level of grip, and outstanding performance for all 22 drivers.

Thomas Baltes, Hankook Formula E race engineer: “It is always rather special to race at a circuit, with which you are not familiar – especially when it is a street circuit. Will there be different types of asphalt, are the surfaces different, how much grip will they offer? As well as the weather, all these factors can have a big influence on the performance of the tire. However, since its Formula E debut in Mexico over a year ago, the Hankook iON Race has shown that it performs superbly on the most diverse range of surfaces and in various ambient conditions. That was once again the case on its first appearance in Japan. The drivers and teams put their faith in the Hankook iON Race when pulling off their maneuvers, and they know nowadays exactly how to get the tire up to the optimal working temperature. The tire delivers a predictably high grip level and a lot of consistency on the track.”

Even the winner of the Tokyo race, Maximilian Günther, was also impressed by the performance of the Hankook iON Race after the Japanese premiere: “The tire really performs at an extremely high level everywhere and has hardly any weaknesses. It is good to know, particularly at a new and unfamiliar circuit, that we drivers can rely on the quality of the tire and focus fully on our performance on the track.”

The pulsating metropolis of Tokyo also inspired plenty of creativity in Formula E. For example, Nissan lined up at its first home race – the company’s headquarters are located less than an hour from the racetrack in Tokyo – with an extraordinary special livery. With the famous cherry blossom, for which the Japanese capital is renowned, about to bloom, the whole car was given a cherry blossom look. Furthermore, the front wing was adorned with the slogan “We Love Tokyo”.

Porsche also thrilled fans with a new design. Both Porsche 99X Electric sported a neon-pink livery – a “visual homage to Tokyo with its world-famous neon advertisements, as well as the Japanese street art and car culture".

Japanese company Liberty Walk developed a specific chassis kit for the Gen3 show car. The firm modified the front wing and sidepods, and designed a large rear wing for the car. The eye-catcher, obviously on the Hankook iON Race, was displayed in the Fan village throughout the race weekend.

Jaguar TCS Racing proudly celebrated reaching a major milestone at the fourth event of the season. The team has been racing in Formula E since Season 3 and made its 100th start in Tokyo. Driver Mitch Evans from New Zealand also lined up for his 100th Formula E race in the Japanese capital. Remarkably, all 100 appearances have been for the Jaguar TCS Racing team.

Thanks to a collaboration between Formula E and game developer Ubisoft, gamers can now experience the thrill of the fully electric racing series and the grip of the Hankook iON Race for themselves. As of recently, the popular computer game Trackmania gives roughly 10 million users access to the liveries of the 11 teams in the Formula E World Championship. A special game format, including Attack Mode and energy management, has also been designed, while the racetracks in Tokyo, Berlin, and London are also available in Trackmania. Live races are held at these circuits, with a prize purse of € 1,000 up for grabs on each occasion. The first of three races was held on the eve of the Tokyo E-Prix.

Common cause: Lola Cars and Yamaha are entering Formula E. The British chassis manufacturer will develop its own powertrain in Season 11.