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Welcome to the Hankook Tire press room, where you can access the latest news on Hankook Tire and our industry.
Date03/12/2009 Hits30,301


Hankook Tire Takes its Technological Excellence to Le Mans 2009

Hankook Tire Takes its Technological Excellence to Le Mans 2009

- Exclusive supplier to Farnbacher Racing Team for Le Mans Series
and 24 Hours of Le Mans
- Hankook Tire puts exceptional effort in tire technology development
- The world’s seventh largest and fastest growing tire manufacturer shows great dedication to motorsports all over the world

Seoul, March 10, 2009 ? Ranked seventh among all tire manufacturers in the world¹, Hankook Tire is proud to announce its entry into the 2009 Le Mans Series and 24 Hours of Le Mans. With its name globally renowned for technology and excellence within motorsports ranks thanks to the efforts and interest of the tire manufacturer, Hankook Tire is presenting itself as a leading high performance tire company in the Le Mans Series for the first time at the Paul Ricard Circuit, France. A sponsorship agreement to this entry has been signed between Hankook Tire and Farnbacher Racing Team on March 8 2009. This is another example of Hankook’s belief and dedication to performance in the area of motor-racing.

Hankook Tire has steadily increased its involvement in European racing over recent years. Last season, Hankook’s high-performance tire were on the starting line in motorsports competitions in Germany, UK, the Netherlands, France, Italy and Spain. Hankook has previously gathered many years of experience in motorsports in Super GT races in Japan, Super races in Korea , championships in the China Circuit Championship (CCC), the China Rally Championship (CRC), and the American Le Mans Series. Over the last two years, the company was able to show its racing tire’s superior performance with Team Alzen Motorsport in the German endurance championship, achieving the fastest laptimes ever on the famous Nuerburgring Nordschleife. Hankook’s accomplishments serve as a stable footstep into the next level of motor-racing hierarchy.

New for Le Mans Series and 24 Hours of Le Mans, Hankook Tire is teaming with Farnbacher Racing to compete in the GT2 class in 2009 with a new Ferrari F 430 GT. The tire maker considers the Farnbacher team as the perfect partner that ties in perfectly with the strategy of the up-and-coming Le Mans races. Both companies are aiming for a successful and long-term potential partnership. Hankook Tire will be the exclusive supplier to the Farnbacher team.

“Our entry into Le Mans is not only to further expose the Hankook brand to motorsports enthusiasts and the general public”, says Mr. Seung Hwa Suh, Global CEO of Hankook Tire. “We see our engagement also as the ideal proving and testing ground for future street tire technologies. It is a great opportunity to help develop the next generation of consumer tire. Hankook Tire will integrate the Le Mans races into various marketing activities in the near future. The races are ranking top among Hankook Tire’s motorsports activities as they perfectly match the company’s motto, driving emotion and support talented teams like Farnbacher throughout Europe. The tire manufacturer will also continue its dedication to motorsports because it is the perfect arena to demonstrate technical competence and the high performance characteristics of Hankook products, believing that racing can develop innovations that will find their way to mass production road cars.

With an intense tire testing schedule and highly experienced technical engineers working on-site at each and every race weekend and private testing days, Hankook is poised to further expand its presence in the series within the next 12 months.

Continuous effort in tire technology development

Hankook Tire continually invests approximately five per cent of revenue into R&D per year, one of the highest proportions of all tire manufacturers. Six per cent of its employees, more than from its corporate division, are dedicated to work within the R&D-division. Over 800 development engineers and technicians with a total of 27 Ph.D. level researchers in Korea and in Hankook Tire’s overseas R&D network in Germany, USA, China and Japan are developing cutting edge technologies for best performance under all circumstances wether it will be on- or off-road use for cars, SUV, vans, trucks, busses or professional motorsports like rallye and track racing.

The 2009 Hankook Farnbacher Racing Ferrari F430 GTC will be equipped with Hankook racing tire Ventus F 200 slicks, Ventus Z 207 rain tire as well as tailor made intermediates all in the sizes 280/650 R 18 at the front axle and 280/710 R 18 in the rear, fitted on BBS rims sized 11 x 18 inch. According to each track condition the team can select from different tread compounds offered for each axle and condition. To find a good compromise between the car’s balance as well as the tire’s durability, for the basic tire setup it is intended to use a one step softer compound at the front axle compared to the rear. Reflecting the different tracks that will see the new Hankook shood Ferrari in 2009, the choosen tire will probably tend to be more soft at Nuerburgring (Ger) or Spa (Bel) and more hard at Algarve (Por) or Catalunya (Esp). Due to the circuit, for Silverstone (UK) even an asymmetric use (different compound on left and right side) is considered.

Hankook Ventus F 200 Slick
- Compounds available for front axle:         medium-soft, medium, medium-hard
- Compounds available for rear axle: medium, medium-hard, hard

Hankook Ventus Intermed (based on F 200 constructions)
- Compounds available for both axles:         soft, medium

Hankook Ventus Z 207 rain tire
- Compounds available for both axles:         soft, medium

The over-all estimated number of tire to be used during the whole season will be more than 1,000 pieces. For each race, Hankook Tire will bring more than 250 pieces to the paddock.

Hankook Tire Technology in Motorsports
● Japan Super GT
   Sponsored Team: Hankook Porsche Team ? GT300
● German Endurance Championship Nuerburgring (VLN) and 24 Hour Race
   Sponsored Team: Hankook-H&R Spezialfedern-Team Alzen Motorsport
● American Le Mans Series (ALMS)
   Sponsored Team: Primetime Race Group Team
● China Circuit Championship (CCC)
   Sponsored Team: Hankook Tire Lufang Racing Team (2000cc)
● German Rallye Championship (DRM)
   Sponsored Team: Wallenwein Rallyesport
● China Rally Championship (CRC)
   Sponsored Team: Wanyu Rally Team (2007 Series Champion)
● Formula D (Drift)
   Sponsored Team: Hankook JIC Motorsports Team
● IMSA Lites (Official Tire)
● Japanese Formula 3 Series (Official Tire)
● Hankook DDGT Championship (Title Sponsor & Official Tire)
● CJ Super Race (Korea - Official Tire Supplier)
● Hankook R1 (Korea - Title Sponsor & Official Tire)



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