Despite a potential top five finishing position, a collision dashed the hopes for Falken’s Porsche 911 RSR, driven by teammates Wolf Henzler and Bryan Sellers.
The duo had to settle for ninth in the GTLM class in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship’s Round 9, held at the Brickyard Grand Prix, run on the 2.435-mile road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
While Sellers qualified in P7, faster than the Porsche factory entries, the team was confident it had more to offer during the two-hour-and-45-minute race until an incident with another car caused the team’s Porsche to drop two laps due to intensive repairs in the pits.
However, the crew – which is primarily based in Indy at the Derrick Walker Racing Shop – was able to work quickly and get the car back on the track to finish in P9. As a result of the finish, both Henzler and Sellers sit in seventh place in the overall GTLM standings.
“It was a good day to start,” said Sellers. “Qualifying was very close, as all three Porsches were seventh, eighth and ninth. We were ok with that as both Wolf and I felt we could quickly move through the field. We knew our focus would be on the race and trying to make it to the end of a stint and still have a good pace.”
That pace was on point and indeed, the long, high-speed straightaways, which have become so ingrained in the consciousness of the public through the Indianapolis 500, proved an equally good match for the Porsche 911 RSR. Team Falken and the two factory Porsches ran hard¸ challenging for top-five positions during the race.
Yet, the shunt was a blow to the team’s momentum. “It was a tough moment,” added Henzler. “We were running well, but in a timed race with four classes competing for the same real estate, and many drivers running on the track for the first time, collisions became inevitable. I’m just thankful, as Bryan is, that the team worked so well together and was able to get us back on the track so quickly after repairs. I’m very proud of those guys.”
The next race on the Tudor United SportsCar Championship tour is again two weeks away, set for August 8-10 at the longest road course on the circuit, the four-mile Road America track. The race duration again will be two hours and 45 minutes.