Bryan Sellers Sees Progress of Team Falken Tire
America Sports Car Driver Races to Eighth at COTA
AUSTIN, Texas, September 22, 2014 - Bryan Sellers and Team Falken Tire continue to make strides in the development of the 2014 Falken race tire. The Braselton, Georgia-resident, joined in the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR by Wolf Henzler (Germany), came to the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) with reserved expectations but high hopes for the Lone Star Le Mans TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race on September 20. While the program continues to make progress, the large jump enjoyed before the Virginia International Raceway (VIR) was not replicated in Austin, Texas. Sellers, who ran the middle stint of the race, would see the only privately-entered Porsche 911 RSR in North America cross the finish line in eighth-place of the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class.
The Team Falken Tire entry is the only privately entered Porsche 911 RSR being campaigned in North America. Additionally, it is the only car in professional international sports car competition racing on the Falken tire. The combination forces the program to simultaneously develop chassis and tire with only one point of reference for an indication of progress. The tire proved a strong match for the car with its newest iteration of aerodynamic tweaks in the most recent string of races. However, while still gaining, the speed of those gains slowed at COTA resulting in the disappointing finishing position. Further adding to the challenge were the multiple rainstorms that hampered parts of the practice sessions leading into qualifying and the two-hour, 45-minute race. Despite being aware of the nature of being a development team - the technical lessons learned in the TUDOR Championship is transferred directly to Falken's line of performance road car tires - the result was disappointing in the shadow of having just earned a podium finish (third) at VIR less than one month ago.
Sellers now moves 'home' to Road Atlanta for the finale of the inaugural TUDOR Championship season. The 17th Annual Petit Le Mans endurance race will be held on October 4 at the Braselton, Georgia track. The Road Atlanta facility, which is less than five minutes from Sellers' home, was the site of his most recent race win, the 2013 1,000-mile classic endurance race.
On the preparation process: "We have done a good job this season at Team Falken Tire with the constant improvement of our whole program. We took on a steep learning curve from the beginning of the year with a new Porsche 911 RSR and no testing. We have improved significantly from the beginning of the season to where we are now. The difficulty becomes that you cannot prepare for all tracks and all surfaces. We have spent a lot of time preparing for the majority of tracks on the schedule because you can compare a lot of things from the other tracks. However, Austin is a completely different track, and very difficult to prepare for."
On the weather in Austin: "Fortunately, the weather was not a huge factor this weekend. It was difficult with the practices being half wet and dry but it did not change how we performed or prepared. We just ended up having less time than we would have liked to try more things."
On the pressure of the Petit Le Mans Finale: "It adds both incentive and pressure. The pressure is something that we deal with in every race and every weekend. I like the feeling of being under the gun. I think the pressure makes our team at Falken Tire perform better. We have big expectations to fill trying to repeat, but we will be up for the challenge."