Hankook boosts Formula E’s speed into the Guinness World Records
British Formula E driver Jake Hughes has made history by setting a new indoor land speed record in a GEN3 car. Hughes, piloting the new electric formula race car GenBeta, reached 218kmh — 135.9mph — on Hankook’s iON Race development tyre.
Racing at the London E-Prix Circuit on the .176 mile straight, the NEOM McLaren driver drove head-to-head with Lucas di Grassi (Mahindra Racing). Both drivers left the previous record, of 102.7 mph (165.2 kph), in the dust on all three of their practice runs and Hughes’ official attempt bested it by 33mph.
Making it official
An adjudicator from the Guinness World Records witnessed the final attempt to confirm the time and procedure: Both drivers started from standstill, maxed their speeds, and then had to come to a complete stop. The speed was clocked five metres before the drivers reached the breaking zone.
Those familiar with the London E-Prix circuit will know this meant taking a 130-degree turn at 25mph before driving all out on the straight and drove all out they did.
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Faster and more powerful: the GenBeta
It helps that they were driving the superstar offspring – the GenBeta – of the world’s fastest and most efficient electric racing car, the GEN3. The GEN 3 was designed to showcase that performance and sustainability can harmonise without compromise. It’s already estimated to have reached a top speed of 322 kph, so it’s no surprise its wonderkid was the vehicle for the record-breaking achievement.
The GenBeta is a prototype modified by Formula E partners including Hankook and SABIC. SABIC focuses on diversified chemicals and aims to bring new materials and technology to EV racing.
Among the many upgrades, the GenBeta has a magnified 400kW power output from a Formula E-first of all-wheel drive, which offers more traction through acceleration. Other improvements to reduce draft and improve speed include sustainable, mechanically recycled thermoplastic wheel fins, a bio-renewable, low-carbon based wind deflector, and 3D-printed front wing endplates which also improves the car’s downforce.
Softer tyre compound helps steal the record
Hankook is an official tyre partner off the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship and instrumental to the record-breaking speed. Its iON tyres are exclusively developed for high-performance electric vehicles to meet their specifications. For GenBeta’s run at the record books, Hankook adapted the iON Race development tyre. As Hankook Motorsport Director Manfied Sanbichler notes the “the modified compound allowed the tyre to develop a lot of grip very quickly, which was one of the keys to this success” and helped it achieve the optimal working temperature even quicker than with the model used in the Formula E world championship.
While you won’t be hurtling down the road at 102mph, getting the right tyres for your vehicle can make all the difference when it comes to efficiency and safety. Will you be upgrading soon?
Hero Image: Simon Galloway/LAT.