Zandvoort/Netherlands, 10th July 2018 – The circuit in Zandvoort is a mere stone’s throw from the North Sea and winds through the Dutch dunes for 4.307 kilometres. As a result, sand is constantly blown onto the track surface. This, together with the coarse asphalt, puts great strain on the running surface of the Hankook race tyres. “The cars regularly slide their way round the circuit, a feature that could be even more prevalent this year, as the aerodynamic downforce generated by the cars has been reduced by a third. For this reason, the temperature of the tyre surface, and with it the amount of tyre wear, is always a bit higher than at other DTM circuits. However, this has previously had virtually no effect on the performance of the Ventus Race,” says Hankook DTM race engineer, Thomas Baltes.
The demanding layout in Zandvoort, with high-speed straights, rapid banked corners and slower sections, also poses a challenge to the race tyres of premium tyre maker Hankook. “It will be important for the teams to set the cars up with an asymmetric set-up and corresponding tyre pressures for this very varied layout. The construction of the Hankook race tyres will be put under a lot of strain, particularly in the fast, banked corners. However, this could be softened by the reduction of the downforce generated by the cars,” the DTM race engineer explains.
Should it rain in Zandvoort, the sand could once again play a major role at the dune circuit on the Dutch North Sea coast. Thomas Baltes: “If it is wet, the rain water and the salt crystals in the air mix with the sand and form a greasy film. The many crests and slopes mean that this film is spread across the entire track, thus reducing the grip level of the racing surface. However, come rain or shine, Zandvoort is not only a challenge for the drivers. The Hankook race tyres are also put under greater strain at this circuit in the dunes than at any other DTM track.”