A new altitude world record for cars has been set on Hankook’s off-road tires.
Sharp stones and deep sand didn’t stop adventurer Rainer Zietlow and his partner Frank Bormann from reaching the unbelievable height of 6.081 meters on the slopes of the "Ojos del Salado" volcano in Chile. The record setting vehicle, a Volkswagen Touareg, was equipped with Hankook’s Dynapro AT SUV-tires. The record was officially confirmed by the Guinness Book of Records last week.
Prior to the record attempt expedition leader Rainer Zietlow and his team visited the volcano in search of the best path. They mapped and inspected the area, which helped reveal all the challenges man and material would have to face. Zietlow then turned his attention to the selection of tires, which would perfectly match the Volkswagen Touareg used for the attempt. He decided to use Hankook’s Dynapro AT in the dimension 265/70 R17, the largest possible diameter, and it turned out to be the perfect
selection: “The quality of Hankook’s tires was really impressive. The profile and the width of the tires provided for very good grip and security in this difficult terrain" - said Rainer Zietlow.
The team set up its main camp at 5.200 meters. From there the Touareg slowly made its way up fighting through snow, sand and large stones. The thin air in such heights was another big challenge faced by expedition members and the vehicle. At times the use of a winch became necessary to master the steep inclination. In such conditions the superb attributes of the Dynapro AT tire played to the team’s advantage. Said Rainer Zietlow: “The wide and strong side walls of the tires allowed us to reduce the tire pressure to 1,0 Bar and therefore to ensure the biggest possible footprint".
The record attempt took several weeks but the great preparation and hard work finally paid off on January 29th 2005 when the two drivers, Zietlow and Bormann, reached the record setting height of
6.081 meters The Ojos del Salado, located in the world’s driest desert - the Atacama, is the highest volcano in the world with its peak reaching 6.830 meters. The region around the volcano is seismically very active and that’s why there was also a scientific dimension to the expedition. Zietlow and his helpers installed a seismographic station, provided by the geological research center Potsdam in Germany, on the slope of the Ojos del Salado. It is meant to help scientists forecast earthquakes over the next years.
The tire used for this expedition, Hankook’s Dynapro AT, is a P-metric light truck/SUV tire with all-season, all-terrain applications. The computerized tread pattern was created for optimal performance on all road surfaces and in all seasons. Its tread design provides for optimal handling and a quiet, comfortable ride. The robust footprint shape ensures even pressure distribution, precise handling, even tread wear and a long life.
The expedition members are especially proud of the fact that the record was set using unmodified products only. The two partners of the Altitude World Record, Hankook and Volkswagen, did not make any changes to their products. Rainer Zietlow now took off for a 3 month promotion tour through South-, North-America and Europe. The tour will include stops at Hankook’s offices, Volkswagen plants and an SOS Kinderdorf, where Rainer Zietlow will hand over a
donation-check to the children relief organization. After the impressive off-road performance during the record attempt Hankook will now get a great opportunity to showcase the strengths of its SUV tires on the street.