Brands Hatch/England, 7th August 2018 – Between 2006 and 2013, the DTM was a regular visitor to the historic English circuit, around 30 kilometres to the south-east of London. The races then took place on the short Indy circuit, which is just 1.973 kilometres in length. This year, the drivers will be racing around the 3.908 kilometres of the Grand Prix circuit. The woodland circuit disappears into the trees, boasting nine turns as well as a number of climbs and descents. The highest point is on the start-finish straight, before the drivers head into a dip after taking the ultrafast Paddock Hill Bend at 170 km/h. The next corner, Druids, is a hairpin bend taken after uphill braking. This is the slowest section of track, which the drivers complete in second gear.
“The high levels of compression mean that the carcass of the Hankook race tyre is put under increased pressure throughout some of these sections. However, this did not have a detrimental effect on the performance of the Ventus Race on the Indy circuit and will also not affect it on the long track variant,” explains Hankook chief engineer Thomas Baltes. The three left turns and six right-handers mean that the tyres on the left-hand side of the car have to work harder, “so the teams have to react to this asymmetrical circuit layout with an appropriate setup for the car, to ensure that there is as little wear as possible on the front left tyre”, says the Hankook chief engineer.
The circuit at Brands Hatch uses more than one type of road surface. Coarse-pore, rough asphalt is followed by smooth surfaces that do not provide much in the way of mechanical grip. This makes tyre management all the more important on this English woodland circuit. The Hankook Ventus Race must be able to produce peak performance on the various surfaces. However, the setup and the driving style cannot be overly aggressive, as the grip level of the race tyre must remain at a consistently high level throughout the race.
Thomas Baltes: “The short Indy track variant at Brand Hatch put the Hankook race tyre under a relatively high level of strain, and this will be no different on the longer Grand Prix circuit. The hard-edged kerbs also contribute to that. The different types of asphalt and the changes in elevation, with associated compression, mean that the temperature of the Ventus Race will rise during some track sections. However, the tyre then has the opportunity to cool down a bit on the straights.”