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Hungaroring expected to pose first test in the heat for the Hankook DTM tyre
- - Premium tyre maker Hankook and the DTM head to Hungary this weekend, for the first foreign leg of the 2017 season. The Hungaroring will host what is probably the most popular international touring car series in the world for the fourth time, and is regarded as one of the most demanding circuits on the calendar. With many changes in direction, as well as hard braking and accelerating, the key for the drivers is to get the race tyre, provided by exclusive DTM partner Hankook, up to the ideal working temperature as quickly as possible, so as to be able to make the most of the potential grip generated by the Hankook race tyres - Ventus F200 for dry and Ventus Z207 for wet.
Budapest/Hungary, 14 June 2017 – Overtaking is quite a challenge on the narrow, winding Hungaroring. The best opportunity on the 4.381-kilometre track comes at the end of the start/finish straight, which turns sharply to the right after 800 metres. Lateral acceleration is at its highest in turns four and eleven, which are taken at approximately 160 kilometres per hour. “These sections are a challenge for tyres in general. However, the new Hankook race tyres - Ventus F200 for dry and Ventus Z207 for wet - will master this challenge with the aplomb we have become accustomed to from its predecessor,” says Hankook DTM race engineer Thomas Baltes.
The drivers must resist the temptation to drive too aggressively, particularly at the start of the race, as this would put too much strain on the “cold” race tyres in the winding sections. Once the Hankook slick has reached the ideal temperature, it provides the drivers with an extremely high level of grip. “It is possible to optimise the cars’ traction in the slow sections by increasing the tyre pressure, in combination with a higher camber. However, the layout of the track means that the car set-up needs to be as balanced as possible,” the race engineer adds.
One feature of the Hungaroring, 20 kilometres outside Budapest, is the circuit’s location. The track winds its way through a valley, giving it the nickname “Shallow Plate”. This is ideal for spectators, as they can see roughly 80 per cent of the circuit from the grandstands. However, the basin location often results in very high air and track temperatures when the weather is sunny. This must be taken into account when deciding on tyre pressures.
A lot of dust, dirt and rubber can be found on the track, particularly off the racing line, which can be picked up very quickly by the cars. This pick-up must then be driven off the tyres before they can operate ideally again. “This can be prevented with a working set-up, thus preventing the slicks from overheating. The Hungaroring places great demand on both the construction and the running surface of the Hankook race tyres - Ventus F200 for dry and Ventus Z207 for wet. The tyres are placed under an average amount of strain compared to other DTM circuits,” says Thomas Baltes.