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Date 10/01/2013 Hits74,503

Category Motorsports

Can Hankook's option tire make a champion?

Zandvoort/The Netherlands, 27 September 2013 - The 4.307 kilometre long circuit in Zandvoort snakes its way through sand dunes, just a few metres away the North Sea. The track is frequently littered with sand, presenting drivers with the constant risk of losing grip on the track surface. But Hankook's DTM racing engineer, Christophe Stucki, is not so worried: "when a tire skids, its temperature increases slightly, which can in turn lead to increased tread wear. However, this effect remains within tolerable limits, and has no detrimental effect on tyre performance. Not only that, the sand never stays on the track for long, as it is quickly dispersed by the passing cars."

Unlike the smooth and porous track in Oschersleben fourteen days previously, the surface of the track in Zandvoort is sealed, but it is also very rough and sharp. This results in a good level of grip, not only with Hankook's two dry tyre models but also with its rain tyres, should it be necessary to fit them; however it is also more wearing on the premium manufacturer's tyres than other racing circuits. Christophe Stucki: "in our experience, the conditions place greater demands on the tracks of our racing tyres than they do on the carcasses. On the other hand, many teams drive at reduced tyre pressure, to enlarge their contact surface and in turn increase their grip. This does increase the level of stress on the tyres, but they are well able to withstand it."

But it is the option tire that could be the real deciding factor in who becomes DTM champion. On the rough tarmac of the track in Zandvoort, Ventus Race Plus develops far more grip than the Ventus Race base-line slick model, enabling extremely fast lap times. However, it is very important that these high-grip tyres are fitted properly, otherwise they will be unable to bring out their strengths to the full; also they must not be ovestressed. "In Zandvoort, the option tyre will be far more susceptible to wear than the base-line slick because the rough track surface is far more abrasive to the tread mixture. If you put all your eggs in one basket and subject them to overextended use, you could lose considerable ground. The Ventus Race Plus is sure to produce very fast times over a third of the distance, but then we expect a considerable drop-off effect. For this reason, it is very important that the teams employ the right tire strategy in this extremely decisive phase," says Hankook's DTM racing engineer, Christophe Stucki.


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