Amidst monumental ALMS/Grand-AM sports car announcement, Falken Tire stays focused on development

Braselton, GA. (Sept. 6). Hot on the heels of a dominating second consecutive win at the Baltimore Sports Car Challenge, Team Falken Tire has concluded another one day test in the rolling hills of Braselton, Georgia at Road Atlanta.

#17 Team Falken Tire: Wolf Henzler, Bryan Sellers
#17 Team Falken Tire: Wolf Henzler, Bryan Sellers

Photo by: Adriano Manocchia

The 15th Annual running of Petit Le Mans looms in the distance, only 44 days away. As the final race of the 2012 season and one of the most challenging endurance races on the American Le Mans Series calendar, Petit Le Mans carries great weight with Team Falken Tire. "It's the last race and you always want to end the season strongly and with a good result," said Falken driver Bryan Sellers. "This test was based on that, and trying to find the best tire construction and compound combination so that we can move forward when the race comes."

Sellers and co driver Wolf Henzler had the sports car world on its feet last week, when with the help of the superior Falken Azenis RT Slick tire, the duo took full advantage of two race restarts to not only maintain the lead over the GT field, but to increase the gap on the competition. Immediately following the race win, the team packed up and headed to Road Atlanta to continue development of the program for the remainder of the season. Sellers called the test on the 12 turn, 2.54 mile road course productive. "We've had some issues from the past that we needed to address and looks like we were able to make a lot of gains in doing that."

Beginning at Round 7 at Road America, the Falken Tire Corporation provided the race team with additional tire engineers to aid in the development of the race tire, which Sellers calls a "huge" benefit to the program. "You can never have too many great minds working on one issue," he says. "The more people we have, the better off we are. It continues to show Falken's commitment to excellence and the series and their commitment to improvement."

Falken Tire's future stands unknown as a merge between the American Le Mans Series and GrandAm was announced to the sports car world yesterday morning. The joining of the two series will begin for the 2014 season. Details regarding class structure, schedule, and most important for Falken, tire manufactures are currently undecided.

Statement from Team Falken Tire Team Manager Derrick Walker: Overall it's a good thing providing the new governing body of Sports Cars seriously make an effort to retain the best of the best. Both series have a lot to offer, so for me, it's a chance to man a really great sports car series. I would like to see them merge as many series as possible into a manageable number of classes and try not to leave anybody behind including suppliers such as Falken. Maybe it will take a few years to truly merge them all into a reasonable number but leave nobody behind.

Statement from the Falken Tire Corporation:
"We greet today's announcement with a sense of both excitement and wonderment. While having no experience with Grand-Am, we have been nothing but pleased with the guidance of the team that runs the American Le Mans Series and trust that they have the best interest of sports car racing for the fans, manufacturers and competitors in mind. Our hope is that the new series debuting in 2014 is truly a combination of the best of both series incorporating fantastic GT racing, technologically progressive prototypes and open tire competition across a broad geographic schedule. We look forward to the final season of the ALMS in 2013 as it is known today and the bright future of sports car racing in the US starting in 2014. At this time, we will wait to see what developments come about in the following months while the new product is put together."

Focusing on the present, Team Falken Tire is now preparing the race car for the penultimate round of the 2012 season. Round 9 will be held at Virginia International Raceway September 13th-15th.

Source: Falken Tire

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Bryan Sellers , Wolf Henzler
Teams Team Falken Tire
Article type Press conference
Tags TEST, alms, falken, grand-am, henzler, road atlanta, sellers, vir