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Hankook returns to Germany’s only street circuit with the DTM, FIA Formula 3 European Championship and Audi TT Cup
- - The events are coming thick and fast on the DTM race calendar. After the first international stop in Hungary two weeks ago, this weekend sees, what is probably the most popular international touring car series, head to the Norisring. At 2.3 kilometres, the only street circuit in Germany is the shortest track on the DTM tour schedule, and its narrow track limits and unique flair are the reason it is known as the “Franconian Monaco”. In recent years, the race tyres from premium tyre maker Hankook have proved themselves with their amazing performance and high levels of consistency in different asphalt conditions, and have always given the drivers the assurance they need to push to the limit on the narrow street circuit.
Norisring/Germany, 29th June 2017 – The road surface at the Norisring consists of different types of asphalt, and has been repeatedly repaired and filled in. City traffic usually weaves its way over the track, which means that the grip level is not very high. “The asphalt grain for normal city traffic is rather smooth, in contrast with the usually gritty and spikey track surfaces on racetracks. Adjusting the camber and the tyre pressure can increase the grip level at the Norisring,” explained Hankook DTM race engineer Thomas Baltes.
At the start of the DTM weekend, there is a lot of dirt on the track; in the first free practise session in particular, the drivers need to be fully focussed so that they don’t lose control of their car on the slippery surface. In qualifying and for the race itself, the racing line has been “cleared”. However, anyone that veers off the racing line and into the dirt section can lose a lot of ground.
Even though half of the eight turns at the Norisring are only slight changes of direction, the city circuit is demanding. High-speed straights are followed by narrow combinations of turns and hairpin bends; in some sections, the DTM cars have to decelerate from speeds of almost 250 kilometres per hour to 50 km/h. Thomas Baltes: “In these tricky braking processes, there is a danger of slipping on the smooth asphalt, and there are always blocking wheels at the Norisring. This increases the tyre temperature, and as a result the wear and tear, slightly, which has in no way restricted the performance of the Hankook race tyres in previous years.”
Another special feature of the Nuremberg street circuit are the many bumps, which cause a lot of bouncing. The teams can tune the suspension and use a slightly lower tyre pressure to compensate for these fast upward and downward movements of the cars. However, the tyre pressure should not be too low, since the full grip potential of the Hankook race tyres only develops in the optimum temperature range.
A racing spectacle awaits spectators at the Norisring. On the DTM calendar’s shortest track, one lap takes just 50 seconds, meaning the fans see the cars speed past them more often at the “Franconian Monaco” than anywhere else. Almost the entire track is visible from the large stone grandstand, where spectators can witness spectacular overtaking maneuvers at all key sections. In addition to the DTM, the FIA Formula 3 European Championship and the Audi TT Cup will be competing there, also guaranteeing spectacular world-class racing.
“Every turn at the Norisring is a key section. Drivers need to find the right braking point, then accelerate quickly, while not leaving the racing line, otherwise they will soon be up close and personal with the crash barriers. With the right car set-up and suitable air pressure, the Hankook race tyres will provide the drivers with a lot of traction and a high level of consistency at the Norisring, just as have done every year so far.”, says Thomas Baltes.