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Hankook Tires Face the Heat in Their First Test at the 2017 Hungaroring
BRAMPTON, ON – July 20, 2017 – Hankook Tire, the exclusive tire sponsor at the DTM in ungary, submitted their tires to a trial by fire at the tough Hungaroring track. Supplying both Ventus F200 and Ventus Z207 race tires, the premium tire manufacturer faced a tenacious challenge on the narrow, winding 4.381 kilometre race track.
The course boasted a number of challenges and opportunities to test both drivers and tires. Drivers were offered their best chance to overtake competition at the start finish line, where a sharp right turn lay waiting after the 800 meter mark. Lateral acceleration was strongest during the fourth and eleventh laps, which were taken at nearly 160 km/hour.
“These sections were a challenge for tires in general,” said Thomas Baltes, DTM Race Engineer, Hankook Tire. “However, the new Hankook race tires, Ventus F200 for dry and Ventus Z207 for wet, mastered this challenge
with the aplomb we have become accustomed to from their predecessor.”
Heat proved to be an obstacle for drivers, forcing them to resist overly aggressive driving. This was especially pivotal at the start of the race as drivers needed to avoid overstraining their cold tires on winding roads. However, once the tires reached their optimal temperature, they provided drivers with an extremely secure surface grip.
According to Baltes, it was possible to optimise the cars’ traction in the slow sections by increasing the tire pressure, in combination with a higher camber. However, the layout of the track meant that vehicle set-up needed to be as balanced as possible.
An exceptional feature of the circuit was its location. Located 20 kilometres outside of Budapest, through “Shallow Plate” Valley, the track was an ideal place for spectators to catch the action with visibility of 80 per cent of the circuit from the grandstands. However, the basin location often resulted in very high air and track temperatures on sunny days, which had to be accounted for when deciding on tire pressure.
The track collected dust, dirt and rubber – particularly on the race line – which was picked up quickly by cars. This material needed to be driven off before the tires could optimally operate again.
“This was prevented with a working set-up, thus preventing the slicks from overheating,” said Baltes. “Additionally, The Hungaroring placed a great demand on both the construction and the running surface of the Hankook race tires - Ventus F200 for dry and Ventus Z207 for wet. The tires were placed under an average amount of strain compared to other DTM circuits.”