Tire manufacturer Hankook is again exclusively equipping the teams and drivers of the DTM with its Ventus racing tires in 2014. Teams will have access to three Hankook tires for 2014; the Ventus Race, the Ventus Race Plus option and the Ventus Race Rain.
With new rules including only one mandatory pit stop and a limited racing distance for the faster tire option, the big question at the start of the season is which team will make the most of the tires’ potential.
In 2014, Hankook will again be equipping the teams and drivers of the DTM, the most popular touring car series, exclusively with its Ventus racing tires. In the anniversary year, in which the DTM is celebrating 30 years of racing, enhanced vehicles and new regulations promise great excitement. With just one pit stop the softer and faster tire option can only be used for a maximum of half the racing distance.
Especially in the Ventus Race Plus, recognizable by the yellow Hankook lettering, demanding maximum performance from the tires over a limited time period is a deciding factor for success. After the first tests during the winter months, the DTM team and engineers were extremely satisfied and are looking forward to the new season.
"More than a thousand test kilometers that we have covered during the winter together with our team show that our tires are in perfect harmony with the new DTM high-powered cars", explains Manfred Sandbichler, Motorsports Director at Hankook Tire Europe.
In addition to enhanced vehicles, two unknowns in the racing calendar also ensure extra excitement: Both the Hungaroring in Hungary as well as the track in Guanzhou, China, celebrate premieres in the current DTM.
"Our many years of experience will also help us optimally support drivers and teams on these new tracks with the right tire set up and the best possible tire performance so that we can provide a fantastic show to the fans", Manfred Sandbichler continues.
The extensive equipment of the DTM’s exclusive tire partner is brought to the tracks in four 40 ton truck trailers. Over 30 Hankook employees are on site during the racing weekend in order to optimally assist the drivers from the roll-out until the end of the race.
In addition to the "Ventus Race" type racing tires that are perfectly aligned to fit the spectacular high-powered vehicles, in 2014 the additional option version is again being utilised. In the same size - 300/680 R 18 for the front and 320/710R 18 for the rear axle - the "Ventus Race Plus" slick will enable considerably faster lap times for a defined period of time and, as before, provide additional spectacular overtaking maneuvers on the racetrack.
“With the changed rules in the DTM, our prime slick Ventus Race is more focused on again,” explains Christophe Stucki, DTM principal engineer at Hankook Tire. “To find a balanced set-up, which brings out the optimal performance in the tires, will be a crucial factor of success for the teams and drivers this year”.
Bob Ulrich was named Modern Tire Dealer editor in August 2000. He joined the magazine in 1985 as assistant editor, and has been responsible for gathering statistical information for MTD's "Facts Issue" since 1993.