DTM to Use Hankook Racing Tires Exclusively From 2011

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Effective immediately, Hankook Tire is the exclusive tire supplier to the international touring car racing series DTM. The contract recently signed between the tire manufacturer and DTM umbrella organisation ITR is initially slated to run for three years. It takes account of both the current set of rules and regulations, valid until the end of 2011, and the future version, which is to apply starting in 2012, and covers the supply of equipment not only to the current teams, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, but also to other vehicle manufacturers as well (BMW from 2012 onward).

This exclusive partnership with the most popular international touring car series heralds a new era in the motor sport activities of Hankook Tire, currently the seventh largest tire manufacturer worldwide. In recent years, the company had focused its track racing motor sport activities on long-distance events, to resounding success in spectacular races including the 24-hours classics in Le Mans and on the Nürburgring. From now on the DTM will form the core of the international Hankook motor sport activities in the years to come.

Hyun Shick Cho, Chief Marketing Officer of Hankook Tire: “The DTM is one of the most professional racing series around. Together with Audi and Mercedes-Benz, two of the world’s most successful premium car manufacturers, the DTM represents top-level international motor sport. That’s why we are very pleased at the trust and confidence that event organisers, vehicle manufacturers, and teams have placed in us and our brand, and we are proud to have been selected as the exclusive tire partner for the years to come.”

Hans Werner Aufrecht, 1st Chairman of the Board, ITR e.V. (DTM commercial rights holder and promoter): “We are very happy with the long-term partnership with premium tire manufacturer Hankook. During the negotiations prior to signing this contract, it already became apparent how motivated those in charge at Hankook are while dealing with the DTM project. The performance of the race tires also convinced everyone involved right away. Personally, I am happy that we have found another international corporate group that is willing and able to keep our high pace and our quality standards as an exclusive supplier in the years to come. Hankook has everything it takes for that.”

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Motorsport: “We are looking forward to a good co-operation with the DTM’s new tire partner. In testing, we got to know a very competent partner and we hope that the experience we have acquired together will be the basis for a long and successful co-operation with Hankook.”

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "Hankook is an ideal partner for the teams and manufacturers of DTM. The great enthusiasm and commitment of our new tire partner and their representatives is obvious. The technical competence of Hankook for the demanding task to provide all DTM competitors with standardized tires was already proved at the first tests. That this new partnership is highly interesting for the ITR and therefore for all DTM teams from a commercial point of view, rounds off this co-operation in an ideal way."

Mattias Ekström, DTM driver (Audi): “I am really looking forward to the upcoming season with the new Hankook tires already. In testing, we had a good feeling right away and we were able to get a lot of positive experience. I am curious to find out how the tires will behave on the various tracks with all the different surfaces, because that is where it really counts!”

Jamie Green DTM driver (Mercedes-Benz): "My first impressions of the new DTM tires are all positive. Hankook has identified the requirements for a DTM tire properly and managed to provide us with a tire with high grip level and good load capacity right away. The first tests with the new tires were great and I am looking forward to work with the new DTM tire partner and to have exciting races in the coming season."

The 2011 DTM season
In 2011, the DTM will begin its twelfth season after its comeback in 2000. DTM fans can look forward to an exciting season featuring a great many highlights. In the coming year, as in years past, premium automotive manufacturers Audi and Mercedes-Benz will continue to share responsibility for the sporting content of the racing series by providing racing versions of their series-produced vehicles: Audi with the A4 DTM and Mercedes-Benz with the racing version of the AMG Mercedes C-Class. The high-tech touring cars of the DTM are among the most fascinating vehicles in the international motor sport scene. The 480 HP rear drive, the full-throated growl of the four-litre V8 engines, and the cars’ brawny look speak for themselves. Starting in 2011, Hankook racing tires of the premium Ventus Racing type, which have been successful all over the world, will deliver grip to suit these cars.

DTM calendar for 2011:
1 May    Round 1    Hockenheimring    Germany
15 May    Round 2    Zandvoort    Netherlands
5 June    Round 3    Spielberg    Austria
19 June    Round 4    Lausitzring    Germany
3 July    Round 5    Norisring    Germany
17 July    Road show    Munich    Germany
7 August    Round 6    Nürburgring    Germany
4 September    Round 7    Brands Hatch    England
18 September    Round 8    Oschersleben    Germany
2 October    Round 9    Valencia    Spain
23 October    Round 10    Hockenheim    Germany
6 November    Round 11    Shanghai    China

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