Sebring, FL. (Mar. 13). The week much anticipated week of America's premier sports car endurance race has arrived and Team Falken Tire has completed the final pre-season test before the season-opening event. After spending over a month on modifying their new Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, the team is ready to compete in the 60th Anniversary of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida.
In a two day test in February, the American Le Mans Series team continued to find the proper balance in the new race car, faced with finding a completely new race setup and the development of the Falken Tire Azenis race slicks. The team felt they had progressed from the first test to the second, but still felt additional improvements could be made.
"The car handled really well and we were bettering our times from the last test here at Sebring," said driver Martin Ragginger. "Hopefully we can come back Thursday with what we would see as our best set up." The first three of the four test sessions ran smoothly, with Sellers, Martin Ragginger and Wolf Henzler rotating seat time in the car.
"We're still struggling for a little speed," said Team Falken Tire driver Bryan Sellers, "But we've been able to run through a lot of different things for the cars set up, and we've been able to find things that help." Sellers pitted with twenty minutes to go in the final session, sensing an issue with the car. After returning to the garage, the team located the problem to the drive line, forcing the pre-season test to come to premature close. The unusual occurrence failed to shake the team, who immediately went to work on narrowing in on the complications that ended the session early.
Although there are no on track activities for the Falken Tire Team, Wednesday will be the busiest day of the 12 Hours of Sebring event, transitioning from a testing set up to a set up build to withstand the legendary event. "The Falken crew have to virtually take the car completely apart and rebuild it, even though it has only done a couple hundred miles," said Team Manager Derrick Walker. "Now is when we start putting in new assemblies such as the new engine and the new gear box; you go through the whole car and you assemble it as though it's ready to do twenty-four hours but you're doing twelve."
"We have to sit together tonight and go over the data we've been collecting over the past two days," said Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler. "Then we'll decide how we'll continue from here moving into tomorrow." The first official practice session of the sports car event begins Thursday, March 15th at 10:00am. Live timing will be available on alms.com and the team will be posting live updates at twitter.com/FalkenALMS. The 60th Anniversary of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida takes the green flag, Saturday, March 17th at 10:30am Eastern.