Motorsport News - Touring
Munichs Olympiastadion is hosting the DTM for the second time
14th July 2012
Show event provides thrills and excitement for the spectators
Rubber compound of the Hankook tyres has to provide the mechanical grip
It was a special kind of premiere when the DTM conquered Munichs Olympiastadion and provided a motorsport show for the entire family last year. 54,000 fans got a close view of the drivers and the cars and got to see thrilling duels in the vast accommodation. This weekend, the worlds most popular touring car series is present in the legendary stadium for the second time. At the track of only 614 metres, three layers of asphalt were spread out in February already and the lay-out of the track was improved. Now, the cars are driving into the same direction at two mirrored circuits, and not opposite to each other, as it was still the case in 2011. This makes it even easier for spectators to make out who is in front.
The race format was modified, too. On Saturday, the battle for the manufacturerstitle will be decided in a relay competition. BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz will be competing against each other with two teams of two drivers for each manufacturer. While the first two drivers will head into the pit lane at the half-way point, their colleagues will start from there two complete the rest of the track. On Sunday, all 22 drivers will be battling for the overall win in a knock-out system. The initial race distance is four laps and will be increased to six laps from the quarter finals onwards. From then on, a pit stop is mandatory as well, and with the small margins, this could well be decisive for victory or defeat.
As the aerodynamic grip, which pushes the cars onto the tracks at the DTMs regular circuits, cant be generated because of the low speeds achieved in Munich, the Hankook competition tyre has a very special significance at the twisty track. The Ventus F200 has to deliver the mechanical grip by means of its rubber compound to allow the drivers to complete their laps of the stadium circuit in a fast and safe way, without ending up into the concrete walls. The higher macro-roughness of the track, which is particularly open-grained, supports the Hankook tyre and provides additional traction to allow quick acceleration out of the slower sections.
The narrow track in the Olympiastadion ensures excitement and thrills for the spectators, but it also faces drivers and teams with major challenges. Hankooks racing engineer Michael Eckert: The difficult thing is getting the Hankook tyres to work at the very short and slow track. This process can be speeded up by pre-heating or a special car set-up. The optimal working temperature of the Hankook slick tyre is between 90 and 110 degrees. Whoever is the fastest to reach this, has the best chances to win.
Competition tyres know-how
The competition tyres look very much similar to their road-legal counterparts, but their construction and compound is significantly different. Which are the particularly important components and their difference compared to road-legal tyres with respect to the particular requirements of the tracks during the 2012 DTM season?
Munich show event: grip
Grip stands for the friction that occurs as a result of the contact between the tyre and the track surface. This static friction can, among others, be influenced by factors like tyre pressure, rubber compound and the angle between the tyre and the track. More grip means an increased contact surface between the tyre and the track and allows for faster acceleration and lap times in motorsport. The stability of the tyres in corners is referred to as lateral grip, longitudinal grip is significant while accelerating or braking.
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