24-hour German race highlighted by a Hankook sprint to the podium

Jan. 1, 2020
Hankook?s Team Farnbacher Racing moved up the pack from worst to nearly first, taking second place overall at the 38th ADAC Zurich 24 Hours Race at Germany?s Nürburgring track last weekend. After a crash during qualifying, the team started from

Hankook’s Team Farnbacher Racing moved up the pack from worst to nearly first, taking second place overall at the 38th ADAC Zurich 24 Hours Race at Germany’s Nürburgring track last weekend. After a crash during qualifying, the team started from the 46th position and drove through the field to finish on the podium.

Marco Seefried drove the Hankook-equipped Ferrari F430 GTC over the finish line just 3 minutes and 54 seconds after the overall winner. It was the second-closest finish in the history of the Nürburgring event. The team also won the SP 7 class.

“This finish is an excellent example of how Hankook’s investment in motorsports R&D is paying off,” says communications director Bill Bainbridge. “A move from 46th to second is a major accomplishment, and a good analogy for Hankook, as we are growing our brand recognition and market share in the U.S. and globally.”

Team manager Horst Farnbacher’s young drivers, Allan Simonsen of Denmark and Germany’s Dominik Farnbacher, were supported by American pilot Lehman Keen and Seefried of Germany.

The race was Keen’s first-ever start at Nürburgring. “Hankook racing tires are one of the secrets to our success this weekend,” he says.

The team drew attention on Thursday, capturing the provisional pole in wet conditions. However, an unlucky crash on the first lap of the second qualifying session Friday resulted in a 46th place starting position. The team then worked to repair and replace several suspension parts until Saturday morning.

“Our main focus had been to provide the drivers with tires that provide neutral, easy-to-control driving characteristics,” according to Hankook racing engineer Michael Eckert. “The Hankook tires have been consistent and fast during the entire weekend. Except for slight variations of the air pressure, we had a smooth race and were able to perfectly implement our planned racing strategy.”

During the first stint of the race, Dominik Farnbacher drove the Hankook Ferrari through the field to 14th position. “The car and the tires gave us confidence on this difficult track,” he recounts.

Longer stints and a reduced number of pit stops helped the team move further up the grid. Once in the top ten, the drivers drove an aggressive race during the last 12 hours of the race, consistently running fast laps and gaining on the field.

“We were competitive all weekend long and we were able to act, as well as react, to our competitors’ strategies,” says Horst Farnbacher. “The pole position in the wet qualification on Thursday showed our team’s potential and demonstrated the high class of our Hankook rain and intermediate tires,” he reports.

“Because of the accident in the second qualifying we fell back heavily, but we more than compensated this with a perfect racing strategy, notes Farnbacher. “The Hankook tires were extremely consistent and were a key factor in our success at the Nürburgring. They reflect the successful development work Hankook Tire has achieved in the last year and a half. Now, we want to be on the podium at Le Mans too.”

Manfred Sandbichler, Hankook’s European motorsports manager, points out that “the Nürburgring has been a consistent part of our motorsports activities for years. Our goal was to bring the series’ first ever Ferrari to the starting line and finish the 24 hours without any incidents. The podium finish and class win are just amazing achievements and a great affirmation for the team.”

Next up for Farnbacher Racing is the 24 Hours of Le Mans, June 12-13.

For more information, visit www.hankooktireusa.com.

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