The 24H Series powered by Hankook returned to Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal last weekend (8th to 10th July) after a year away.
Fifth Staging of the Hankook 24H Portimāo within the 24H Series
The state-of-the-art circuit, which is both varied and technically demanding, hosted the Hankook 24H Portimāo for the fifth time. For the Hankook Ventus Race tyre, Autódromo Internacional do Algarve is one of the most challenging tracks on the calendar for this year’s 24H Series powered by Hankook.
Awaiting the competitors at the 24-hour Marathon in Portugal was a 4.653-kilometre circuit with 15 corners, some of them blind, tricky crests and dips, and big changes in elevation. The high track temperatures posed the main challenge for the Hankook Race tyre. The heat in Portugal meant the track can get very hot, which resulted in increased degradation of the running surface. Some of the cornering speeds were very high, which puts extra stress on the running surface of the Ventus Race. The left side of the car was put under particular strain.
The high kerbs were stumbling blocks. The drivers had to first get the Hankook Race tyre up to its optimal working temperature, before they can take the kerbs at top speed. If a tyre is cool and has a low pressure, racing across the kerbs can damage its construction. The many undulating passages, with uphill gradients of over six degrees and a maximum descent of 12 per cent, put the Ventus Race through its paces.
Temperatures at Autódromo Internacional do Algarve can sometimes fall significantly in the night, resulting in the track cooling dramatically and grip levels reducing. The teams needed to adapt to this and react to the different conditions by altering the tyre pressures.