Successful involvement in TCR for Hankook – Mike Halder wins the inaugural TCR Spain season on the Ventus Race
Hankook entered into new partnerships with high-class international TCR series in 2021. Among the series that the premium tyre maker has been supplying with its high-end Ventus Race since the start of this season are TCR Europe, TCR Eastern Europe and the newly-launched TCR Spain. The inaugural TCR Spain season drew to a close in Barcelona last weekend. The first champion on Hankook race tyres was Mike Halder from Überlingen am Bodensee, Germany. His sister Michelle ended the season in third place.
Neu-Isenburg, Germany, 16.11.2021
TCR Spain made its debut this May at Circuito de Navarra in Spain, and it was the Halder siblings who stole the show. Mike won races one and three, while his sister Michelle claimed the top spot on the podium in race two. And the success story continued until the end of the inaugural TCR Spain season for the two flying siblings.
At the end of the five race weekends and a total of 15 races at renowned Spanish circuits, 25-year-old Mike Halder, with optimal support from the Hankook race tyre, claimed a total of eight race wins on his way to the title at the wheel of a Honda Civic Type R. His sister and team-mate Michelle won two races and finished third in the final table. In doing so, the 22-year-old became the first female driver to taste success in three different TCR series, having previously triumphed in TCR Europe and ADAC TCR Germany.
The newly-crowned TCR Spain champion said after his success: “We opted for TCR Spain at short notice. Given my overall victory, third place for my sister Michelle, and the team title, that was exactly the right decision. I was familiar with the Hankook race tyre from ADAC TCR Germany, which I lined up in from 2016. For this reason, I knew exactly how my car had to be set up to exploit their full potential. The tyres are very consistent and you can do multiple fast laps on them in a row without them giving up the ghost. That gave me a lot of security. The preparations for 2022 start now. My sister and I would prefer to get behind the wheel in TCR Europe, and we will be trying to get together the necessary budget by the start of the season,” said Mike Halder.
In October, the 2021 season concluded in the TCR Europe series, which premium tyre maker Hankook was supporting as exclusive tyre partner for the first time. The field contested 14 races over seven weekends at internationally-renowned racetracks. These included iconic circuits like Paul Ricard in France, Circuit Zandvoort in the Netherlands, and the Nürburgring in Germany, at which the Hankook Ventus Race tyre has proven its immense potential in recent years. 25-year-old Spaniard Mikel Azcona claimed his sixth race win at the wheel of a Cupra Leon Competición TCR at the finale in Barcelona. In doing so, he added a second TCR Europe title to the one he won in 2018.
Hankook was also making its first appearance as tyre supplier in TCR Eastern Europe in 2021. The premium tyre maker’s Ventus Race mastered the challenge in its usual competent manner, producing some thrilling motorsport at racetracks in Hungary, Poland, Croatia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, thanks to its consistently strong performance. 21-year-old Czech driver Michal Makeš wrapped up the TCR Eastern Europe title in front of a home crowd at the finale in Brno, courtesy of three wins in twelve races and the fact that he consistently finished in the points.
Manfred Sandbichler, Hankook Motorsport Director Europe: “We congratulate all the champions in the various TCR series. Supported by the Hankook race tyre, they and their fellow competitors produced exciting and spectacular motor racing throughout the entire season. Next year, Hankook will accompany a further two top-class and professional formats as exclusive tyre partner: ADAC TCR Germany and TCR Italy. Last season showed once again that the TCR class offers touring car racing at the highest level. Hankook has played its part in this by expanding its involvement and supplying the high-end Ventus Race tyre.”
Hankook is back in action at the weekend. The seventh and final round of the 24H Series powered by Hankook, which the premium tyre maker has supported for years as title sponsor and exclusive tyre partner, takes place at the iconic circuit in Sebring. The 6.019-kilometre Sebring International Raceway in Florida will host the third 24-hour race in the renowned endurance racing series. At stake for the competitors is overall victory in the TCE and GT divisions. The top team in both categories will be honoured with the title Champion of the Continents.
Photos: 1,2: RFEdeA; 3,4,7: TCR Europe/@World; 5,6: TCR Eastern Europe