BRYAN SELLERS BRINGS STRONG FINISH AT MID-OHIO, TEAM FALKEN TIRE TENACIOUS LEXINGTON, OH -- August 7 Bryan Sellers was eager to get in his ...
BRYAN SELLERS BRINGS STRONG FINISH AT MID-OHIO, TEAM FALKEN TIRE TENACIOUS
LEXINGTON, OH -- August 7 Bryan Sellers was eager to get in his #17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 GT3 RSR and show his boyhood-state of Ohio what he and his team could do on the 15-turn 2.4-mile track of the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, as they competed in the sixth Round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr0x00f3n.
Friday gave Sellers and his team a taste of the up-hill battle they would face all weekend, chasing heavy understeer and a balance problem.
Sellers piloted the #17 for qualifying, and as the team diligently worked to improve the set-up, the Team Falken Tire entry secured a P-11 GT Class starting position. "It wasn't what we were looking for in qualifying," said Sellers. "It was the furthest off the pace that we have been and we were a little worried about that. We qualified towards the rear and we knew that the car wasn't quite fast enough to do what it needed to do." But as the team has shown all season, determination and endurance reap significant rewards, and the #17 wouldn't stay in the rear of the grid for long.
Sellers drove the first stint and began the 2 hour 45 minute race on Saturday. As the green flag waved, the #17 was undoubtedly competitive, keeping up with its fellow GT-Class entrants. But after a few laps, it was clear that changes were needed for the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. "We had some balance problems in the first stint," explained Sellers.
"We had a fair amount of understeer that we tried to work out of the car; the understeer progressed as the race went on, but our goal was to have enough information to make changes for when Wolf [Henzler] got in." And the only opportunity the team would have to make those adjustments was during their pit stops.
Lap 35 brought out a full-course caution, and Team Falken Tire prepared to make a few changes. Seller's teammate, Wolf Henzler, took control of the #17 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, and returned to the field. However, the car still suffered from balancing issues on track. "We did make some changes," said Sellers, "but they were certainly not better for [Wolf]." But once again, the diligent and consistent work of the team and the drivers proved unwavering, and Henzler was able to advance two positions, bringing the #17 up to P-8 in the GT-Class, before an on-track incident brought out the second full-course caution.
Sellers was ready to once again pilot the #17 Team Falken Tire entry and take it to the finish. After another adjustment to the car and a flawless pitstop, Sellers was back on track. Said Sellers, "I got back in and fortunately we had already had two stints to tune the car...so I probably had the best of what we had to offer, and the balance was the best it had been all weekend, qualifying included. Everyone did a good job getting us to that point." Sellers completed the remaining 33 laps, taking the checkered flag and bringing home a P-8 GT Class position for the team.
As Sellers reflected on the weekend, he noted the dominating force that kept the #17 on track and up to speed: the team. "Although we struggled for pace a little bit this weekend, overall it was the best that we've worked as a team," said Sellers. "We had zero mistakes, we had fast pitstops, and the guys don't get enough credit for that, especially for how important pit stops are."
The Team Falken Tire crew will have another chance to show just how fast they are at the Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase Powered by eStar on August 20 -22, as they take to the track at Road America. And after testing at there earlier in the year, Sellers knows exactly what he and his team need to do. "Road America is all about tuning your car to have no wing in it so you go fast in a straight line," he said. "We will have some new developmental equipment, and that, combined with what we learned at the test, will put us in good shape."
-source: bryan sellers racing