Hankook Tire has announced a new partnership with Formula Renault Eurocup, the prestigious racing series known for its 10 race weekends at iconic racetracks including Silverstone, Monza, Hockenheim and Monaco. The series kicked off at the beginning of May. Hankook Tire has been the exclusive tire partner of the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) since 2011.
The start of the DTM series took place at the Hockenheim Ring from May 3-5. The full DTM series sees 24 cars go head to head on the Ventus Race tire. Based on technology that has been tried and tested in the DTM, Hankook has consistently added to the success story of its high-end passenger tires. With the brand-new Ventus S1 evo 3, Hankook Tire is setting new benchmarks in terms of both performance and environmental properties, the tiremaker says.
“We are very happy to have a highly-professional and reliable tire partner in the DTM,” said ITR Chairman Gerhard Berger. “Hankook is an international corporation and one of the largest tire manufacturers in the world. We are proud to supply teams with modern racing tires, which are very safe and allow drivers to push themselves to the limit. That is how it should be in top-class motorsports.”
Hankook faces new challenges in its ninth year of the DTM. For the first time, the DTM cars will be powered by new four-cylinder turbo engines with a capacity of two liters, which generates 100 hp more than the V8 engines used previously.
“We have a totally new car with less downforce, a larger rear wing and a new turbo engine that has completely different performance characteristics to the powertrain used previously in the DTM,” said Thomas Baltes, Hankook race engineer responsible for the DTM. “As a result, the demands placed on the Hankook race tires have changed completely. More power means we must reckon with wheel spin, which can lead to the tire surface overheating and puts greater strain on the running surface. This places even greater emphasis on driving ability, which is what the fans and spectators want to see after all.”
While spectators and fans at the racetracks are treated to action, motorists also benefit from Hankook’s involvement in motorsport. The experience and data gained over the years as a DTM tire partner have been incorporated in the development of the new ultra-high-performance road tire – the Ventus S1 evo 3. In one of the world’s largest independent tire tests, performed by the German automotive magazine Auto Bild, Hankook’s new high-end flagship tire scored top marks out of the 53 brands tested, immediately earning itself a place on the podium.
“Motorsport is an important part of the DNA of Hankook and the DTM offers us an excellent platform, on which to perfectly demonstrate the performance of our high-end tires and our expertise at a top international level,” said Han-Jun Kim, president of Hankook Tire Europe. “We are always on the lookout for interesting series and formats, in order to further develop our premium products. The partnership with the newly formed W Series is particularly impressive. We are pleased to be involved in the pioneering work being done in this area.”
As part of Hankook’s motorsports initiatives, it has equipped the newly launched W Series from the outset with its high-end racing tires. The single-seater series for female drivers features six rounds and starts exclusively on the DTM support program. Hankook also will supply the Belcar series with its premium tire, the Ventus Race, for the first time this year. This renowned racing series in Belgium and the Netherlands features GT cars and touring cars. Lastly, it also will be supplying Ventus Race tires to this year’s Mini Challenge Italia. The series features the legendary Mini and comprises six events in Italy, with the final round taking place in Monza on Oct. 20.