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Lamborghini Super Trofeo NA

“Very Positive” Feedback on New Hankook Super Trofeo Tire

Positive early impressions to new Hankook tire in Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America…

Photo: Jonathan Grace

Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America teams have had “very positive” feedback with the new Hankook Ventus Race tire in pre-season testing according to Chris Ward motorsport senior manager at Automobili Lamborghini America.

The Korean manufacturer has taken over from Pirelli as the exclusive tire partner for Super Trofeo competitions worldwide, which includes the IMSA-sanctioned series that kicks off this weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

Lamborghini and Hankook already have two races under its belt with the L54-spec tire, a specific compound developed for the single-make series that takes lessons from The C52 used in the Hankook 24H Series.

“From Round 1 of Super Trofeo Asia in Sepang over this past weekend, we had very positive feedback on the new tire,” Ward told Sportscar365.

“We’re excited to start the North America season on the new tire. Early season testing from customers has been very positive.

“We’re excited for the new partnership. Hankook has done an extraordinary job to be here for the first round.”

Ward said that the tire’s characteristics should suit the nature of the sprint-race championship, which sees a majority of its grid consisting of Am drivers this year.

“The Hankook is renowned as a tire with very low degradation,” he said. “That’s been the feedback from customers, is that it’s very, very minimal deg on the tire.

“Given the format of our series, where quite often it can be the Am getting in the car after the Pro, it’s a really good thing. So the [Pro] wouldn’t be handing the car over to them with a tire that’s in terrible shape.

“The early feedback has been very positive. We’ll see how it goes this weekend. Laguna Seca is an interesting test given they haven’t resurfaced [it] yet. We’ll see how we get on.”

Defending Pro class champion Kyle Marcelli said he’s been impressed with his early impressions with the Hankook, having completed a shakedown at Putnam Park prior to arriving at Laguna Seca with the C52 version of the tire.

“I think it’s going to serve as a good tire for the class,” the Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport driver told Sportscar365.

“The car’s got a lot of power and we’re generally trying to take care of the rear tires as much as we can. I think it’s proven that this tire is going to be a little better in its longevity and consistency.

“We basically did a shakedown, it wasn’t much of a test, but we found that we can tune on [the tire].

“The engineers have time; you don’t just have six laps of a good peak performance and then you’re dealing with fall off and you’re chasing fall-off while tuning.

“You have a consistent tire for a little while and it allows the guys to make changes and feel whether it works or didn’t.”

The 11-turn, 2.238-mile circuit in Northern California has typically been known for high tire degradation and this weekend is expected to be no exception across all IMSA-sanctioned series and tire partners.

“Laguna Seca Raceway is a special racetrack, and the legendary Corkscrew is particularly challenging,” said Hankook Motorsports Europe director Manfred Sandbichler.

“However, the drivers can rely on the performance and consistency of the Hankook race tire in this passage and all the other sections of the circuit.

“Our team of engineers from Korea, the USA and Europe, as well as the whole Hankook crew, will offer all the competitors an optimal service at the season-opener, and do its bit to ensure that this season’s Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America gets off to a great start.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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