Monterey, CA. (May. 10). Since last month's race at Long Beach, the Porsches in the GT class of the American Le Mans Series have undergone several changes, Team Falken Tire experiencing the most dramatic. In just three weeks, the tire engineers at Falken Tire created and produced a taller front tire specifically for handling the power of the 2012 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. "The construction of tires has changed completely compared to last year, but the compound is close," said Lead Tire Design Engineer Yoshi Yasuda. "This is the first time we've ran with the taller tire, so we have to look at lots of data and talk to the drivers to ensure we're making the most of these huge changes."
In an effort to level the playing field amongst the GT class competitors, IMSA allowed heavy rule changes for the four competing RSRs. After receiving notice shortly before the race event, Porsche quickly tested and created modified rear wings and new front splitters in hopes of generating more down force and power output.
With Porsche Works driver Wolf Henzler behind the wheel, Team Falken Tire took to the track his afternoon with the #17 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR for an hour and a half test session at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Henzler spent a majority of the session the 2.238-mile, 11-turn track, setting the team's best time of 1:24.712 on his twenty-third lap. "The new down force is certainly good," said Henzler. "You can really feel it in high speed turns."
Bryan Sellers had a limited stint in the car due to a red flag near the end of the GT test session. "We've made some good progress, and you can feel the positive changes," said Sellers. "There are still a few things we need to figure out, but that's what test sessions are for." The team completed thirty two laps total during the session, finishing 0.818 seconds behind the class leaders.