Hankook Tire will be the official tire provider of the brand new W Series, a groundbreaking, all-woman racing series, as part of the DTM. The W Series will take place on six race weekends. Hockenheim in Germany, will host the inaugural round on May 4-5, with the series coming to a close at Brands Hatch in the United Kingdom, on August 10-11. The overall prize purse is $1.5 million, with the winner receiving a check for $500,000.
More than 100 female drivers from 30 countries applied for a seat in one of the 270-PS Tatuus T-318 Formula 3 cars, with 60 women moving on to the qualifying round. The final decision as to who would occupy the 18 coveted starting places was made by a jury of experts, including former Formula 1 driver David Coulthard.
The select few will now undergo extensive training courses, fitness tests and rigorous driver training to ensure they are prepared for the start of the W Series in Hockenheim. As all the cars are identical, tire management will be particularly important, as even minor changes to tire pressure can have a big effect out on the track. Hankook Tire’s Ventus Race tires are ideal for young drivers, ensuring driving consistency and maintaining a high grip level.
“We are very enthusiastic about this new partnership with W Series and are looking forward to supporting this fascinating new race format to the best of our ability with the Ventus Race [tire] and our know-how,” said Hankook Tire Motorsport Director Europe, Manfred Sandbichler. “One major reason for our involvement is the fact that W Series is exclusively for women. This is great, as it allows female drivers to develop in a professional environment within the motorsport scene, which is still male-dominated. However, we are not just thinking about the women in the cockpit, but also want to ensure that female mechanics, engineers and team managers get more opportunities in motorsport too.”
“Hankook Tire is an exciting and innovative company, which, like the W Series, is always prepared to strike out in a new direction,” said CEO of the W Series, Catherine Bond Muir. “For this reason, we are happy to have a partner like this on our side. We received a lot of interesting offers, but Hankook Tire had by far the best overall package and will be fully committed to helping us offer women better opportunities in motorsport.”
“Hankook Tire has an impressive global presence in motorsport and is the tire partner of many racing series around the world, whether in touring cars, single-seaters, endurance racing or rallying,” said Racing Director W Series, Dave Ryan. “Furthermore, Hankook Tire has been exclusive partner of the DTM, with which the W Series will share the bill, since 2011. Its high-tech products, know-how and global involvement in motorsport make Hankook Tire the perfect partner for us. It will provide optimal support for the W Series, not only with its race tires, but also its engineers and mechanics.”