Spielberg/Austria, 19th 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 Hankook’s Ventus Race.
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 tyre. Compared to other DTM corners, the strain placed on the Ventus Race 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.”