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Hankook race tyre all set for critical phase of the DTM in Spielberg
- - Premium tyre maker Hankook and the DTM enter the finishing straight this weekend in Spielberg, Austria. The Red Bull Ring is the venue for the penultimate round of what is probably the most popular international touring car series, and the race for the title in the Drivers’ Championship has rarely been so exciting. Almost half of the 18 drivers can still be crowned 2017 DTM champion, and fans can once again look forward to thrilling racing at the alpine circuit in the Styria region. The race tyre, which was newly-developed for this season by exclusive DTM partner Hankook, has played a major role in making it such a close battle for the championship. The Hankook race tyres, Ventus F200 for dry and Ventus Z207 for wet, which offers more grip than its predecessor, gives every team the opportunity to implement individual race strategies. Its high degree of consistency makes it possible to come in very early for a tyre change, or to stay out until extremely late on in the race, thus allowing the teams to react flexibly to a wide range of race strategies.
Spielberg/Austria, 20th September 2017 – The 4.326-kilometre stretch of asphalt in Spielberg is nestled perfectly in its mountainous surroundings, meaning it features many dramatic uphill and downhill passages. With long straights, fast corners and slower sections, the layout of the undulating track has a little of everything.
“In Spielberg, the brakes are put under a lot of strain, the top speed has to be spot on and, above all, you have to have enough traction to accelerate quickly out of the slower passages. As the circuit also features every kind of corner, you need a balanced set-up with a balanced mixture of aerodynamic and mechanical grip,” says Thomas Baltes, Hankook DTM race engineer.
The Red Bull Ring was resurfaced last year, and the new asphalt offers more grip than the old surface. However, the track heats up rather more dramatically than in recent years. This leads to higher tread temperatures on the tyre, but does not affect the performance of the Hankook race tyres.
With seven right-handers and two left bends, the front-left tyre is placed under greater strain in Spielberg. Thomas Baltes: “This strain on one side can be countered with an asymmetric set-up in terms of both the car and the tyre pressure. However, this is no exceptional challenge for the running surface and construction of the Hankook race tyres. Compared to other DTM corners, the strain placed on the Hankook race tyres in Spielberg is fairly average,” says the Hankook DTM race engineer.
The best overtaking opportunities at the alpine circuit come in the right-hander after the start and the subsequent long, uphill straight into the Remus Hairpin. The weather has played a key role at the Red Bull Ring in the past. The drivers have experienced everything, from scorching heat to heavy showers. Thomas Baltes: “If it rains, the drivers must be aware of possible aquaplaning, particularly in the depressions after the downhill passages. However, the asphalt does dry very quickly after any showers.”