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Date 19/06/2011 Hits79,212

Category Motorsports

The black gold helps all the drivers

The black gold helps all the drivers

- A lot of praise for Hankook after the first three DTM rounds of the season

- Consistent and fast tyres ensure a well-balanced field

- Mercedes-Benz motorsport director Norbert Haug praises “close competition”

Klettwitz/Germany, June 17th, 2011- The fourth round of this year’s DTM will start at the Lausitzring this Sunday. After almost one third of the season, it is clear for Mercedes-Benz motorsport director Norbert Haug: “In the 2011 season, the DTM has reached the highest level of close competition.” At least half of the field is capable of winning races, says Haug about the current situation. At Spielberg, Martin Tomczyk even succeeded in scoring a dominant lights-to-flag win with a year-old Audi that was considered to be inferior. This excellent balance also speaks for the fine work by the DTM’s exclusive tyre partner Hankook, who is providing all the teams with equally fast and consistent tyres. As a result, the drivers have the reassuring feeling of being competitive in all conditions at every circuit.

For its DTM premiere this year, Hankook had to prepare itself for the most varied challenges. But neither the high kerbstones at first round in Hockenheim, Germany nor the sand at Zandvoort dune-circuit in The Netherlands were able to cause problems for the construction or the tread of the Hankook slick tyres. At the slippery asphalt of the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, the Ventus F200 provided the necessary grip for all the cars from the start till the finish. “The many pre-season tests are paying off. Our tyres are doing well at every circuit”, says Manfred Sandbichler, Hankook Europe’s motorsport manager, who is more than happy with the performance of the “black gold” so far.

The next test for Hankook is waiting at the Lausitzring. “In the narrow infield and in the long, partly banked corners, the tyres have to provide the necessary traction, and also have to build up grip on the high-speed straights, often on a slippery surface. I am certain that the slick will work well at all parts of the track”, says Hankook’s race engineer Michael Eckert. But he can’t calculate everything in advance either. The Lausitz is known for its changeable weather as heavy downpours often follow bright sunshine. An ideal combination for the Ventus Z207, as Hankook’s rain tyre is particularly flexible and remains fast and consistent both on a wet surface and on a track that dries out. As a result, teams can stick to their race strategy at changing conditions and aren’t forced to change tyres earlier than planned.

However, the track at the Lausitzring has its particularities. “On the fine asphalt, the drainage doesn’t work very quickly, similar to the situation at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, and therefore can add up to a few centimetres on the straights in heavy rain. In such a situation, it is difficult for any rain tyre”, Michael Eckert knows. The Hankook engineer refers to last week’s Formula 1 race at Montreal: “Even the Canadian Grand Prix had to be interrupted for two hours due to torrential rain. This shows that there are conditions in which you simply can’t run a race.


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