Giving a boost to women in motorsports, Hankook Tire has signed on as the official tire partner of the new W series for the 2019 motorsport season. As part of this sponsorship, Hankook Tire will provide the series with its high-end racing tire, the Ventus Race (F200 slick and Z217 wet), in sizes VA 230/560-13 and HA 280/580-13. The organizers of the new single-seater series and Hankook Tire are campaigning to add more female racing drivers who are now becoming a more common sight in the world of motorsport to the series. They are however, still a relatively rare sight when compared to their male counterparts.
The W Series will be sharing the limelight with the DTM series. Hankook Tire has been the exclusive tire partner of the DTM series from 2011 and will be providing the series with its premium tires on six race weekends in 2019. Hockenheim will serve as the venue for the inaugural round of the all-woman Formula series which will be held from May 4 to 5. The finals of the W series will be held at Brands Hatch from August 10 to 11. The overall prizes for the W series would amount to an attractive 1.5 million dollars, with the winner taking home a check for 500,000 dollars.
Over 100 female drivers from 30 countries applied to get a chance to helm one of the 270-PS Tatuus T-318 Formula 3 cars, and of these, 60 women managed to qualify. The final decision as to who would score one of the 18 coveted starting places was made by a jury of experts, which included former Formula 1 driver David Coulthard.
The selected drivers will now undergo extensive training courses, tough fitness tests and many hours of driver training in order to ensure that they are fully prepared for the start of the W Series in Hockenheim. All the cars are identical, and hence tire management will play a critical role in the outcome of the races. Even minor changes to tire pressure can have a big effect out on the track.
Hence, Hankook Tire’s Ventus Race tire, with its extreme consistency and high grip level, is the ideal partner for the young drivers.
Commenting on the new sponsorship, Manfred Sandbichler, Hankook Tire Motorsport Director Europe said that the company was very enthusiastic about its new partnership with the W Series and was looking forward to supporting this new race format with the Ventus Race tire and its expertise in the field of tires. He said that one main reason that the company chose to become involved in the W series is the fact that it is being held exclusively for women and would allow female drivers to develop in a professional environment within the motorsport scene, which is still dominated by men. He said that Hankook wants not just women drivers, but also female mechanics, engineers and team managers to get more opportunities in motorsport.
Catherine Bond Muir, Chief Executive Officer W Series said that like the W series which is striking out in a new direction, Hankook Tire is also an exciting and innovative company. Hence, the series was happy to take on Hankook Tire as a partner. Though the series received a lot of sponsorship offers, Hankook Tire had by far the best overall package and committed to fully helping the series to offer women better opportunities in motorsport.
Dave Ryan, Racing Director W Series said, “Hankook Tire has an impressive global presence in motorsport and is the tire partner of many racing series around the world, whether in touring cars, single-seaters, endurance racing or rallying. Furthermore, Hankook Tire has been exclusive partner of the DTM, with which the W Series will share the bill, since 2011. Its high-tech products, know-how and global involvement in motorsport make Hankook Tire the perfect partner for us. It will provide optimal support for the W Series, not only with its race tires, but also its engineers and mechanics.”
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