Press Release

  • Motorsport

Hankook and the DTM head to Zolder for the first foreign leg, on the back of a thrilling opener at the Hockenheimring

Premium tyre maker Hankook and the DTM kicked off the 2019 season with some thrilling race action in Hockenheim. Fans at the iconic circuit near Heidelberg were treated to spectacular motorsport and a successful first outing for the new DTM cars, which this year line up with a new four-cylinder turbo engine and over 100 hp more than last season. The Hankook race tyre, on the other hand, has not changed. Despite this, it coped brilliantly with the extra strain resulting from the increase in power, demonstrating the excellent performance that DTM aficionados have become used to. This weekend, Hankook and the DTM are in Zolder, Belgium, for the first foreign outing of the season.

Zolder/Belgium, 14th May 2019 – Circuit Zolder was officially opened in 1963, since when the layout has been modified five times, most recently in 2002. The current 4.003-kilometre track consists of fast straights, which lead into some very tight corners and challenging chicanes. While the first sector is rounded and flowing, the layout of the second sector, with its many small changes in direction and abrupt braking manoeuvres, makes it less smooth. “Zolder is a fast circuit, but one that has very tight sections and is not always flowing, particularly in the run-up to the start/finish. Good brakes are essential here. At the same time, the Hankook race tyre must have the right air pressures and be brought to the ideal working temperature, in order to allow the drivers to accelerate quickly out of these sections,” explains the Hankook engineer responsible for the DTM, Thomas Baltes.

The asphalt in Zolder is very smooth and, unlike the coarse surface in Hockenheim, offers the drivers a low level of grip. As such, caution is required – particularly after pit stops, when the drivers return to the track on cold race tyres. Thomas Baltes: “On the smooth asphalt, it is possible that the cars may skid at times, which in turn raises the temperature of the tyre’s running surface a little. However, that does not affect the performance of the Ventus Race.”

At the DTM opener at the high-speed Hockenheimring, it was primarily the construction of the Ventus Race that was put under the greatest strain, as the cars constantly hurtled across the high kerbs at top speed. The lower kerbs and different layout at Circuit Zolder means that this strain will be far lower. “While the Hockenheimring is a very demanding circuit for the Hankook race tyre – one of the most demanding on the DTM calendar – the strain on the Ventus Race is not so great in Zolder. It will be interesting to see what tactics the teams opt for. Hockenheim showed that it is also possible to be successful with a two-stop strategy. We will have to wait and see whether that could also be the key to success in Zolder,” says Thomas Baltes.

Hankook Tire manufactures globally innovative, award winning radial tyres of proven superior quality for passenger cars, light trucks, SUVs, RVs, trucks, and buses as well as motorsports (circuit racing/rallies).

Aspiring to bring consumers the utmost excellence in product quality, technological excellence and driving satisfaction, Hankook Tire continuously invests in research and development maintaining five R&D centres and eight production facilities around the world. Bespoke tyre solutions for the European markets as well as European Original Equipment according to the requirements of leading premium car manufacturers, are developed in the company’s regional Technical Centre in Hanover/Germany. Production for the European region is taking place in the state-of-the-art manufacturing site in Rácalmás/Hungary which was inaugurated in June 2007 and is continuously being expanded. Currently around 3,000 employees produce up to 19 million tyres a year for passenger cars, SUVs and light trucks.

Hankook Tire’s European headquarters are located in Neu-Isenburg near Frankfurt am Main in Germany. The manufacturer operates further branches in Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UK and Ukraine. Hankook products are sold directly through regional distributors in other local markets. Hankook Tire employs approximately 21,000 people worldwide and are selling their products in over 180 countries. Internationally leading car manufacturers rely on tyres made by Hankook for their original equipment. Approximately 30 percent of the company's global sales are generated within the European and CIS-Region. Hankook Tire has been represented in the renowned Dow Jones Sustainability Index World (DJSI World) since 2016.

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Hankook Tire Europe GmbH | Corporate Communications Europe/CIS | Siemensstr. 14, 63263 Neu-Isenburg | Germany

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Felix Kinzer

Fon: +49 (0) 6102 8149-170

Anna Pasternak

Fon: +49 (0) 6102 8149-173

Yara Willems

Fon: +49 (0) 6102 8149-172

Stefan Prohaska

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Kristina Schott

Fon: +49 (0) 6102 8149-175

Annika Malcherek

Fon: +49 (0) 6102 8149-176


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