New generation of Hankook tyres for the 2017 DTM season
Hankook are going to provide a new tyre generation for the forthcoming DTM season. Compared to their predecessors, the new Ventus Race DTM dry-weather tyres will produce more grip in its optimum status, thus meeting a demand of the drivers. At the same time, their performance will decrease more and faster – depending on the way they are used – as demanded by the car manufacturers and the DTM organisers. This is supposed to make for more excitement, during the course of the races.
In its fourth DTM version, the new Ventus Race will produce more grip than its predecessor although the dimensions have remained the same (VA: 300/680 R 18, HA: 320/710 R 18); on the other hand, its performance will decrease more and faster than the one of last year’s version – particularly when is taken to the limit. A situation that will make major impact on the lap times of the drivers, dependent on the respective driver’s style of driving.
The tests in February already demonstrated that the lap times can rise by several seconds when the tyres are used aggressively over a longer period of time – a fact that promises additional excitement in the races, with the drivers needing more tactical cleverness if they want to succeed. The innovations, however, only apply to the dry-weather tyres. The DTM wet-weather tyre, the Ventus Race Rain, will be unchanged for the 2017 season.
“DTM most definitely is one of the technically most sophisticated race series worldwide. Therefore, it’s not the first time that we had to cope with difficult development challenges in the DTM-tyre area,” reveals Manfred Sandbichler, the Hankook Motorsport Director. “And the feedback after the latest tests confirmed that we once again did a good job when developing the 2017 tyres. So, in the tyre area everything is prepared for another thrilling season.”
Thomas Baltes, Hankook’s race engineer responsible for the DTM project explains: “Despite the unchanged dimensions the new DTM dry-weather tyres are a complete redevelopment. With the fourth generation of the Ventus Race, the so-called tyre whisperers among the drivers once again will enjoy an advantage. The drivers and engineers who are particularly good when it comes to running the tyre in to get it to its optimum temperature area as fast as possible without a too aggressive approach will have a clear advantage in the 2017 season. And the way the tyres are dealt with in the qualifying session also will make a bigger impact on the performance in the following race than it did in the past.”
“Following the latest tests and hundreds of kilometres with the new tyres I’m really confident regarding the performance for the coming season,” says Audi works driver Mattias Ekström. “As a driver I noticed the changes right away. The Tyre structure feels slightly stronger while the rubber is clearly softer. This results in a very interesting handling and clearly better lap times – if you succeed in getting the tyres into the working area. Other than with last year’s tyres I also can feel a clear performance drop, with the new tyres. This offers us drivers the opportunity to make for a bigger difference by the way we treat the tyres. Particularly on hot days it will be interesting to find out what a performance the different drivers will be able to display and maintain over the race distance.”