Team Falken Tire wins GT class at Baltimore

Team Falken Tire takes second victory of the season at the streets of Baltimore

Baltimore, Maryland September 3, 2011 – Team Falken Tire and drivers Bryan Sellers and Wolf Henzler captured an impressive victory in their Porsche 911 GT3 RSR this weekend at the 2011 Inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix, round seven of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón season. In what turned out to be a heavy fought street fight around the Inner Harbour of Baltimore, the Falken Tire squad took their second GT victory of the year in front of a sold out crowd in what will no doubt become a marquee event in the ALMS schedule.

Henzler took the green flag in his #17 Porsche machine in the fifth position and managed to wiggle through carnage in Turn-1 of the narrow 2.04-mile circuit, picking up two positions in the process. The German driver immediately started reeling the leaders in showcasing the speed and grip of his specifically engineered Falken Tires. After putting the pressure on the leaders for many laps, Henzler pulled a daring outside pass for the lead around Turn-1 and got the position, for the rest of he stint he maintained a quick pace until Lap 35 when Team Falken Tire, operated by Walker Racing, brought him in for his one and only pit stop for new Falken tires, a full tank of fuel and a driver change.

This is a really happy day for us all, we have all worked very hard to get here.

Bryan Sellers

The Team Falken Tire pit crew, lead by crew chief Nico Castellaccio, performed the quickest pit stop in the GT field and sent Sellers out on his way with one hour to go in the race. After a restart Sellers took advantage of contact between the top two running GT cars, picked up the lead in Turn-1 and never looked back. He led the remainder of the race and took the checkered flag for the second time this year. The team’s first victory came at Mid-Ohio earlier this year where the Team Falken Tire drivers took advantage of their superior Falken rain tires to survive monsoon conditions at the picturesque road course.

The Team Falken Tire crew will now head west to Monterey, California for the ModSpace American Le Mans Series Monterey presented by Patron. The six-hour race will take place at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on September 17th, and will be broadcast live on at 3:15 PM ET, and tape delayed on ESPN2 on September 18th at 1PM ET.

Wolf Henzler Driver, #17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 GT3 RSR
“We had a great setup for the race, and our Falken Tires were very consistent for my whole stint. I made it around the initial pile-up at turn one at the start of the race, but then a Corvette spun in front of me and I couldn’t avoid him. Fortunately, neither car was damaged, and I was able to get by along with #55 BMW. It was very hard to pass, and I was able to take advantage of a prototype in the corner to make the pass on Dirk Werner for the lead. This course was great fun, and we proved that Falken can win in the dry as well as the wet (at Mid-Ohio).”

GT podium: class winner Wolf Henzler gets sprayed with champagne
GT podium: class winner Wolf Henzler gets sprayed with champagne

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

Bryan Sellers Driver, #17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 GT3 RSR
"It's a very big win for Team Falken Tire, I was proud to be a part of it and it was also a big win for me. This is a really happy day for us all, we have all worked very hard to get here. Wolf Henzler did his usual incredible job for the first stint, and I drove one of my best sessions ever – motivated by the great effort that this team has put in all year. They deserved this win, and I’m honoured to be a part of it. This was unbelievable.”

Andrew Hoit Falken Tire's Director of Marketing
"This is a great result for Falken Tire and Wolf and Bryan, what a performance! I’m really pleased with the out come, I could not be happier in the way our Falken Tires did today, they were the class of the field."

Derrick Walker Program Manager, Team Falken Tire
"The little tire that could, the team that did. A lot of people in the Falken Tire team have been working very hard for this day, our drivers Wolf and Bryan did a superb job, the team worked great and those Falken tires on the Porsche were the right combination to win, terrific result.

It was an amazing event! The city of Baltimore was such a great host to the race, especially after Hurricane Irene delayed the final construction of the track. The venue was packed and the fans were so friendly and really enjoying themselves. It was great to have our first dry condition race win at the first ever Baltimore American Le-Mans event."

Michelin Green X podium: GT winners Bryan Sellers and Wolf Henzler
Michelin Green X podium: GT winners Bryan Sellers and Wolf Henzler

Photo by: Eric Gilbert