Hockenheim/Germany, 5th May 2017 – This year, the job of the mechanics will be even more important and strenuous than last season. In accordance with the new sporting regulations, both the Saturday and the Sunday race will now last 55 minutes plus one lap, and both must include one mandatory pit stop. This stop must be made after the opening lap and before the final lap.
Hankook Motorsport Director Europe, Manfred Sandbichler: “Last year, only the Sunday race featured a mandatory tyre change. Now the teams have twice as much work, with at least two pit stops per race weekend. However, this also means they now have two opportunities to perform a quick tyre change and thus to do well in the Best Pit Stop Award.”
The pit stop will be all the more intense, as the new regulations stipulate that only eight mechanics may be involved in the tyre change, and only one wheel gun will be available for each side of the car. Prior to this season, there was no limit to the number of mechanics who could work on the car during a tyre change. “Under these conditions, everything must be exactly right and the team must work in perfect harmony. The cars will obviously be stationary for longer, but a well-oiled crew can gain a lot of time during a tyre change, and this could ultimately make or break a race,” said Manfred Sandbichler.
Hankook will provide the teams with eight sets of newly-developed slicks at each DTM race weekend in 2017. The new Ventus Race slick offers more grip than its predecessor, thus allowing a more aggressive driving style. However, it will also degrade faster and more dramatically. Tyre blankets are no longer permitted, which could make the first few laps after the pit stop a real challenge for the drivers.
Hankook Motorsport Director Europe: “The drivers will come into the pits on ‘hot tyres’, which have offered a lot of grip and have been running perfectly at the ideal temperature. After the pit stop, they then head back onto the track on cold tyres, and must get them working as quickly as possible. They will have to drive skilfully in order to avoid losing too much time.”
The scoring for the Best Pit Stop Award is calculated according to the official pit stop timings, as approved by the DBSB, from the time the car enters the pit lane to the time it exits the pit lane. As in the DTM regulations, points are awarded per car and are not added within the team. Only the fastest time for each of the two stops on a race weekend scores points. After each race weekend, the crew with the fastest pit stop scores 25 points for their car (points are awarded as follows for positions two to ten: 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1). As the winning team, they are also rewarded with three crates of beer at the following DTM event.
Past winners of the Hankook DTM Best Pit Stop Award:
2016: BMW Team MTEK
2015: Audi Sport Team Abt
2014: Mercedes-AMG HWA
2013: BMW Team Schnitzer
2012: Audi Sport Team Abt
2011: Audi Sport Team Phoenix