I’m a race fan and I’m sure many of you reading this are race fans too, but sometimes I think we forget that to the manufacturers that compete in racing series are often in it to test cool new stuff to sell to us! We all thought it was cool that Falken Tire would be running their RSR Porsche at the Petit Le Mans race but its also pretty cool that they can show just how good their tires are. When the skies opened up and drenched the track during the race, Falken’s Porsche equipped with their Azenis RT wet tires was setting the fastest time in the GT2 class. I realize that sounds a little “advitorial” but hey I like progress.
BRASELTON, GA (Sept. 28, 2009)- On a day of highs and lows, Team Falken’s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR had both, as it returned to competition for Petit Le Mans on a rainy day at Road Atlanta.
“Our learning curve has proven to be a bit longer than we anticipated,” said Team Falken Manager Rod Everett.
Among the lows were the challenges placed on the team by the weather. Red flags ruled both practice and the race itself, reducing track time. Fortunately, the team had tested earlier at Road Atlanta, and had determined an optimum set up. To offset the lows of daytime practice, the Porsche performed well during the night session practice, recording faster times than three other GT2 teams. Final qualifying placed Team Falken in 11th with Driver Bryan Sellers behind the wheel.
“Fortunately, we were set with tires, both wet and dry,” added Everett, “and one of the highs of the weekend for Team Falken was setting the quickest time in the rain during the first hour. That told us our Falken Azenis RT race tires performed well on wet surfaces.”
Driver Dominic Cicero worked well with Sellers, as the two ran in the previous ALMS event in which Team Falken competed, and the Porsche advanced to 8th place during the opening laps in the rain. While maintaining their pace when the track dried, Sellers struck the #44 Porsche as he went for a pass and repairs took approximately 40 minutes.
“The accident obviously put us behind, but we were able to get the car back on the track pretty quickly,” Everett noted, “which really showed the strength of our teamwork and how adaptable the Porsche is. We regained positions and were in 11th place in our class when the race was first red flagged due to weather conditions, and ultimately called after 4 hours, 48 minutes of competition.”
“The GT2 class is now the most competitive in ALMS, and we wanted to be able to show the capabilities of Team Falken among these entrants,” said Mark Richter, Senior Manager of Dealer Marketing. “Despite the challenges, including the weather, we felt this was a good experience for Team Falken, and it better prepares us for the season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.”
Team Falken intends to return to ALMS and the GT2 class and will compete throughout the 2010 season.
The final race in the 2009 American Le Mans Series is the four-hour Monterey Sports Car Championships at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. The green flag is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. PT on Saturday, October 10. The race will air on SPEED from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 11.