DTM tyre development for 2012 running well
Much-promising initial test runs with new Hankook competition tyre
Hankook’s chief engineer James Kim is again expecting top-level technology
Development work soon to be completed
Oschersleben/Germany, September 16th, 2011 – The Motorsport Arena Oschersleben is hosting the third-last DTM round of the season this weekend. While drivers and teams will again be fighting for every single point in the hot final stage of the season, the series’ exclusive tyre partner Hankook is already working hard on the upcoming season. After the newly developed basic tyre for next year was presented at Brands Hatch already, the tyres, as expected, also convinced the drivers and their teams during the first test runs at Lausitzring this week.
This is even more remarkable, as Hankook has presented a largely new development compared to the current Ventus competition tyre, resulting from the considerably larger dimensions for 2012 (front tyre: 300/680 R18, rear tyre: 320/710 R 18). In the process, experience and know-how from the current season also were used. However, also the fact that BMW is joining the DTM for next year and thus, next to Audi and Mercedes-Benz, the particular requirements of a third manufacturer have to be considered, made the tyre development an event more complicated affair.
To do justice to all the DTM competitors, a selection of tyres in different variations is put through a comprehensive programme during the test sessions. All tyre manufacturers are getting sets of tyres, the exact components and constructions of which they don’t know. After such a “blind test”, the drivers pass on their subjective impressions to Hankook’s engineers. “For our development work, the feedback from teams and drivers is important. Based on their judgement and our objective data like tyre pressures, temperatures and lap times, we then decide which tyre best suits all the three manufacturers. A very good performance, durability and maximum safety are the key factors”, says Hankook’s head of motorsport development James Kim about the procedure.
The final decision, with which Hankook tyres the DTM drivers will be contesting their races from the 2012 season, will follow during testing in the upcoming weeks. Shortly after that, series production of the new tyres will start and thus, they will be available to all manufacturers at the end of the year for the further development of the vehicles. Thus, the next Hankook tyre is the first fixed and reliable performance component for the new DTM cars. Chief engineer Kim promises: “We are certain that we will again be able to provide absolute top-level technology with a tyre that combines the decisive criteria for success like performance at the highest level, maximum safety and, above all, consistency.”