The 2.238-mile, 11-turn natural terrain road course could not be more different than the street course layout in Baltimore. With its sweeping turns and elevation changes – including the world-renown, multi-story drop known as the “Corkscrew” – Mazda Raceway presents a whole different set of challenges from the sea-level, Maryland circuit. However, like Baltimore, whose new-to-everyone design made all teams equal, the endurance nature of the ALMS Monterey helps balance the 13-car GT class field. It has been on these even-footing events: the 12 Hours of Sebring, Long Beach Grand Prix, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Baltimore that the former open-wheel racing champion has excelled. All of these venues have required precision driving and smart racecraft, areas in which Sellers is gifted, and the results have borne that out. A new Falken racing slick to be introduced this weekend will further benefit Team Falken Tire in the final two races of the year. The newest iteration of the tire is a product of Sellers’ testing efforts in Japan and the United States over the summer months.
Having won his second-career American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila PatrÃ³n race – the Baltimore Grand Prix – in commanding fashion on the East Coast, Bryan Sellers is at all-time high. He now readies for the ModSpace ALMS Monterey presented by PatrÃ³n on the Monterey, CA Peninsula at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, one of the county’s premier road courses. On September 17, Sellers joins teammate Wolf Henzler in the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 GT3 RSR for the penultimate event of the ALMS season; six hours of endurance sports car racing.
With his second victory of the season, Sellers is tied with teammate Henzler for fourth in the GT class Driver Points Championship. The duo is just 11 markers out of third-place with 55 points available at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The steady drive toward the top-three in points has come from a string of top-six finishing positions dating back to Lon Beach. The only time Team Falken Tire has finished worse than sixth was at the season-opening 12 Hours of Sebring where a late gearbox failure dashed the expectations of a guaranteed podium. The year has set the standard not only for Sellers but Team Falken Tire as well which had never finished better than fourth entering 2011. The organization, led by Derrick Walker, now stands as the highest-ranked Porsche in the field.
Sellers, clearly amped by the events of the season so far, shared his expectations for the race, “We are currently carrying a lot of momentum into Laguna after winning at Baltimore. I’m not sure what to expect this weekend but I do know that we will have another new batch of Falken tires to try and make another step forward. We were very strong over a long run at Sebring and Road America so with a six hour race hopefully that plays into our favor.”
Showing his reverence for the course, Sellers added, “Mazda RacewayLaguna Seca is very picturesque which sets the scene for a beautiful race. It’s always everybody’s favorite venue. The track is very challenging. It’s very low grip but has a multitude of corners ranging from flat low speed corners to banked high-speed corners. It’s a challenge to drive well for six hours and that is one of the aspects I love the most about it.”