SELLERS STAYS COOL AND ESCAPES HEAT, CAR FIRE AT MILLER MOTORSPORTS PARK TOOELE, UT -- July 10 It has been a busy weekend so far for Bryan Sellers and Team Falken Tire at the Larry H. Miller Dealerships 2010 Utah Grand Prix at Miller Motorsports...
SELLERS STAYS COOL AND ESCAPES HEAT, CAR FIRE AT MILLER MOTORSPORTS PARK
TOOELE, UT -- July 10 It has been a busy weekend so far for Bryan Sellers and Team Falken Tire at the Larry H. Miller Dealerships 2010 Utah Grand Prix at Miller Motorsports Park. With a car fire consuming the rear end of the #17 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, it has been an all-day team effort to prepare for race day tomorrow.
As practice began early Saturday morning, Sellers began the session in his #17 Team Falken Tire machine with assurance and focus. The team had tested the previous day with various set-ups and tire combinations, and Sellers felt confident in the car's ability. As the tires began to heat up and Sellers' lap times were trimming down, Bryan began to notice smoke coming from the rear of the car.
Remaining calm and focused, Sellers was able to pull the car off track, out of the way of his competitors, and exited the car safely, clear of the fire. Having only completed 3 laps in the session, the #17 is done for the day. Thankfully, Sellers' quick reactions and his ability to turn off the engine and all systems within the cockpit resulted in minimal damage to the car, and the team was able to begin work immediately. "This team is so amazing," said Bryan, "and I know we'll be back out and ready for the green flag tomorrow."
Once back in the garage, the team assessed the damage, and Bryan reflected on the scary scene. "It's amazing all the things you have to remember as a driver. Your mind starts going through the list: turn everything off, deploy the fire extinguisher, get off the track, tell the team what's going on -- and the entire time more smoke and flames are visible." But Sellers remembered the most important rule -- get out of the car.
Due to the extent of the damage the car sustained, Sellers was unable to compete in the afternoon qualifying session for the American Le Mans Series Presented by Tequila Patrón. As a result, the #17 Team Falken Tire Porsche GT3 RSR will start at the back of the grid for the Larry H. Miller Dealerships 2010 Utah Grand Prix on Sunday, July 11 at 2:35pm. But as Sellers sees it, that gives him and his team 2 hours and 45 minutes to move through the grid and back up to their favorite position -- in front. "We have our work cut out for us," said Sellers, "but we are a strong team and we will not give up."