Falken third in ALMS GT Team Championship
Competing against auto factory entrants, megabudgets and revered ALMS drivers and teams, the “little tire that could” is now solidly in third place in the GT Team Championship points standings of the 2011 American Le Mans Series presented by Patron Tequila after scoring its second win in three races in the highly contested GT class.
The most recent win for Team Falken came on the streets of Baltimore as Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler, and his partner, veteran Falken driver Bryan Sellers, successfully piloted their Porsche 911 GT3 RSR through the brand new race circuit, elevating the duo into fourth place in the ALMS GT Driver standings.
“Highly respected and skilled race team manager Derrick Walker, brought on board to manage the team this season, deserves equal credit for putting us into the position we are now enjoying,” stated Nick Fousekis, Falken’s Director of Motorsports Marketing and Events. “It is extremely gratifying to see Team Falken move up to the top three in the GT Team Championship rankings, with only the well-established BMW and Corvette competitors ahead of us. As one of the few single-car teams out there, with only two years of full-time ALMS competition under our belts, I believe we are definitely showing the results of our combined talents and have done so in a very short period of time.”
“This has become a true competitive class, with some of the best racing in ALMS,” declared Kevin Jones, Falken’s ALMS race supervisor. “I know we’re making serious inroads all the time, but it has taken a great deal of work, and both Wolf and Bryan, along with our stalwart crew and dedicated Falken engineers, have spent hours and hours at tracks testing different tire configurations and compounds and in our race shop practicing pit stops and driver changes. It all takes this commitment and tremendous coordination to get everything to click.”
Bryan Sellers agreed especially as the season heads to the finish with two of its most dramatic events yet to play out: “Because Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is a long race, it’s important to click on all cylinders. We have done a great job in developing the team and our tires. We had the quickest stop in Baltimore within the GT class, and I couldn’t imagine having any other group of guys by my side than the Falken team.
“Driver pairing is not any different that a crew’s pairing,” Sellers went on to say. “Wolf and I have truly become best friends and help each other make good decisions with the race car.
We both enjoy racing the Porsche in such a way that we can count on each other to have the car right where it needs to be. It’s so important to have a team effort. You win as a team and you lose as a team, because no one can do their job individually.”
It’s that kind of outlook that explains why Falken is now in third in the GT Team standings.
Falken Tire has also taken advantage of the wins to promote its products and earn the recognition and respect it seeks among competitors and most importantly, consumers. “We are obviously running this race program to build the Falken brand, both from a competitive point as well as a technological one,” said Andrew Hoit, Falken Vice President of Marketing. “The results we are now seeing and the conversations we are having with our dealers and customers are extremely important to us as they help validate the entire motorsports effort.”
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, CA, will feature a six-hour event, Sept. 15-16, followed just two weeks later by the season finale, the 14th annual 1,000-mile/10-hour endurance classic Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, September 28-October 1.
To learn more about the American Le Mans Team visit www.wegetyougoing.com