Bryan Sellers Comments On Falken Tire Announcement
Longtime Falken Tire Driver Honored By Time With Tire Manufacturer
Braselton, Georgia, May 13, 2015 - Bryan Sellers joined Team Falken Tire in 2009, the first year of the Japanese tire manufacturer's ownership of the North American-based sports car racing operation. Along with Yoshi Yaasuda, Lead Engineer at Falken Tire, the Braselton, Georgia-resident is the longest-tenured member of the team. 2009 also started Sellers' and Falken Tire's successful association with Porsche Motorsport. In his time with the program, Sellers was instrumental in the development of both the race team and the race tire. He became intricately linked to the team's successes both on track and off as a brand ambassador for Falken in North America and abroad.
Over the course of the relationship, Sellers - joined by Wolf Henzler (Germany) in 2010 - was part of four America Le Mans Series (ALMS) GT class wins: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (2011), Baltimore (2011), Baltimore (2012) and Petit Le Mans (2013). With the inception of the TUDOR United Sports Car Championship for the 2014 season, Team Falken Tire captured the Petit Le Mans GT Le Mans (GTLM) title a second consecutive season.
Sellers met today's announcement that Falken Tire would end its TUDOR Championship program at the conclusion of the season with disappointment but appreciation for the long and successful partnership, a rarity in modern professional sports. Fittingly, the team's final race will come on October 3 at Sellers' home track of Road Atlanta. The former open-wheel racing star will be pursuing his third consecutive Petit Le Mans victory on that day in the 10-hour endurance classic.
Bryan Sellers: "This is difficult. It is leaving family. I don't say that casually or as a figure of speech. Everyone at Falken Tire and Walker Racing has become my family over the last seven years. I am very grateful for the opportunity they presented to me in 2009 and I am excited to see this program through from start to finish. Over the course of my time as a Falken Tire driver, we have seen a great deal of success together. We have overcome a lot of obstacles and I think we proved a valuable resource to Falken, Porsche and the race organizers in that time.
I cannot help but look back with pride and an appreciative heart. Thanks to everyone at Falken here in the States and in Japan. It doesn't seem very long ago Dominic [Cicero, 2009 teammate] and I were rolling the Falken Tire Porsche out for the first practice at Long Beach. And it will be surreal to leave Road Atlanta knowing that will be my last ride with Wolf in the number 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR. He is not only a teammate but one of my closest friends now as well. I know there will be a lot of tears when we leave the paddock that night but I cannot say enough about everyone involved. I hope we can add several more race wins to the Falken Tire tally before it is all said and done."