Hankook Tyres has stamped its name on the NSW Time Attack, with Rick Bates winning the Pro category and setting the fastest time outright on Hankook Ventus tyres.
Held at Wakefield Park last weekend, Bates recorded an incredible time of 59.979 seconds in his V-Sport Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X. Running on treaded Hankook Ventus TD Z221 radial tyres, Bates’ Evo was the only car in the field to break the 60-second barrier, a time achieved by only the quickest cars such as open-wheel Formula cars and V8 Supercars, both on slick tyres.
Run in cold conditions with ambient temperatures of just 9 degrees and track temps under 15 degrees, the conditions put extra emphasis on tyres and tyre pressures, important across the three classes - Pro, Open and Club Sprint - and the two tyre specifications.
Hankook Tyres were popular and featured strongly in all three classes: the R-S3 for the Club Sprint, and the TD Z221 for the Open/Pro classes.
On 295/30R18 Hankook soft-compound Z221s, Bates proved the cold weather would not hamper his performance by setting a number of low-60-second lap times on the first day, followed by his winning 59.9 second lap time during the first morning session of day two. His time was 0.2 seconds clear of the next fastest car in the Pro class.
The final session of the event was a combined Top 10 Shootout, where Bates put in an even more impressive effort. Allowed just an out lap to warm the tyres and one flying lap to set the lap time, the Hankooks responded quickly, Bates recording another sub-60-second time, with a 59.991 second lap. He set the time on ‘used’ tyres, that had previously set a quick time in a previous session, reinforcing the grip and consistency of the Hankook Ventus tyre.
“I was pleasantly surprised,” explained Bates. “The Hankooks were very consistent throughout the weekend, particularly after a few heat cycles. The performance of the scrubbed tyres in the top 10 shootout was as good as they were when new for the sessions. They [the Hankook tyres] certainly gave me the confidence to push from the start of the flying lap in the shootout.”
Along with Bates' win in the Pro category, Daniel Farquar won the Club Sprint class, running Hankook R-S3 tyres on his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX, with a time of 63.675 seconds. Farquar’s time was just 0.1 faster than second place, reinforcing the competitiveness of the entry-level class.
Hankook Tyre Australia Marketing Manager William Ng was equally impressed with the cars, crews and event: “We have seen the popularity of Time Attack increase markedly over recent years. We are title sponsor of the Hankook NSW and Victorian Time Attack events to prove the performance and versatility of Ventus tyres, from circuit racing to tarmac rally and time attack.
“The majority of the Time Attack field ran Hankook Ventus tyres, either the R-compound Z221 or the R-S3, so it’s the competitors who have proven the overall performance of the Hankook tyre. Word isn’t spreading about Hankook’s performance - it’s already spread!”
The Hankook NSW Time Attack event will broadcast on Speedweek TV, July 21.