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Desert domination: Impressive double victory for Pascal Wehrlein in Diriyah

Desert domination: Impressive double victory for Pascal Wehrlein in Diriyah

Lights out, spots on – races two and three of this year's ABB FIA Formula E World Championship took place in the Saudi Arabian desert. One of the weekend's highlights was the fact that the first double-header of the year was held under floodlights, creating a very special atmosphere among the fans. The Hankook iON Race faced three major challenges, all of which it mastered with great aplomb: cool temperatures in the two night races, a mix of different surfaces, and a track that was sandy in places. An incredibly exciting E-Prix on Friday evening in Diriyah produced numerous battles and some fantastic duels at the front of the field. All the drivers benefitted from the consistency of the Hankook iON Race on the 2.495-kilometre street circuit around the UNESCO World Heritage Site. After an hour and 39 laps of racing, the beaming winner was Pascal Wehrlein (TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team). The German took the chequered flag ahead of the winner of the Hankook Mexico City E-Prix, Jake Dennis (GB/Avalanche Andretti Formula E), with Sam Bird (GB/Jaguar TCS Racing) taking third place. The crowds were also treated to some thrilling battles and a grand finale in race two on Saturday. It was Wehrlein who again dominated, making it two wins in as many days with his second victory of the weekend for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team. Britain's Dennis also produced a fine drive and was Wehrlein's closest rival for the second race in a row. German René Rast (NEOM McLaren Formula E Team) came home third to earn his team its first podium in Formula E. After three races, the double race winner from Diriyah – Pascal Wehrlein – tops the overall standings.

Manfred Sandbichler, Hankook Director Motorsport: “The double-header in Diriyah proved to be a real challenge for the Hankook iON Race. Heavy rain shortly before the start of the second round of the season transformed the desert sand on the track into a greasy surface, offering little grip. However, the situation improved with each session and the grip level increased significantly. The cool evenings, around ten degrees Celsius, also made it a real challenge for the teams to get the iON Race up to the ideal operating temperature. However, as at the season-opener in Mexico, the tyre overcame the difficulties with its strong performance and reliability – despite the different track surfaces in different sections of the circuit. The tyre allowed the drivers to pull off spectacular moves and overtaking manoeuvres, even at the end of the races.”

For decades, Hankook has been one of the first ports of call when it comes to international motorsport. Hankook supplies its race tyres to globally-renowned series, high-class junior formats and popular grassroot events. With new collaborations and partnerships, the company is constantly enhancing its status as a global player on the motorsport scene. Since the 2023 season, Hankook has been the new and exclusive technical partner and tyre supplier of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. In close cooperation with Formula E, the iON Race was developed for the world championship. Roughly 30 percent of the high-performance tyre is made of sustainable materials. With this commitment, Hankook is taking another pioneering step towards energy efficiency and sustainability in motorsport. The premium tyre maker has also agreed a further collaboration with Italian sports car manufacturer Lamborghini Squadra Corse and has been official technical partner and exclusive tyre supplier of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo since 2023. Hankook’s portfolio covers a broad spectrum. This includes the 24H Series powered by Hankook, one of the most prestigious endurance series in the world, as well as the FIA ERC4 Junior Championship on the rally scene. Hankook also supports popular touring car championship TCR Italy, many high-class one-make cups for a wide range of renowned manufacturers, junior single-seater series, and assorted international racing events with race tyres and technical know-how.

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Desert domination: Impressive double victory for Pascal Wehrlein in Diriyah

WEHRLEIN Pascal (ger), TAG HAUER Porsche Formula E Team, Porsche 99X Electric, portrait podium, portrait during the 2023 Diriyah ePrix, 2nd meeting of the 2022-23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, on the Riyadh Street Circuit from January 26 to 28, in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia - Photo Grégory Lenormand / DPPI

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