American Le Mans Series

Pressure Problems Force Team Falken Tire Into “Experimental Mode”

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Team Falken Tire unexpectedly struggled on Lime Rock weekend (Photo Credit: Porsche AG)

Despite promising results in testing during the break between rounds Team Falken Tire battled with increased tyre wear on their Porsche at Lime Rock Park, leaving them in seventh place in the GT class at Connecticut track.

The issues began only 40 minutes into the two hour, 45 minute race when driver Bryan Sellers reported a vibration. Initially considered nothing serious the team were forced to change their plan and pit Sellers on lap 35 when the pressure in the left-rear tyre plummeted suddenly.

“With the loss of pressure we obviously realized we had a different kind of vibration, and a different kind of problem,” said program manager Derrick Walker. “From that point on, we were in total experimental mode.”  

Throughout the remainder of the race the left-rear continued to show accelerated wear, forcing a total of four pitstops as the team experimented with different compounds and constructions of Falken Tire available to them.

“We were going through the range of everything we had with a keen eye on making sure it was safe,” Walker said. “We have to remind ourselves that this is a tire development program. I think the real winners today were the pit crew. The boys were ready for anything that came at them, jumping over the wall and throwing tires on the car. If it comes to quickest tire changes and pit stops, the boys took the cup there.”  

Despite Walker's praise of the team he, Sellers and co-driver Wolf Henzler were clearly disappointed following the testing at Road Atlanta and Mid-Ohio.

“The performance gains we had at Mid-Ohio were real,” Walker explained. “Why they didn’t repeat here was troubling at the moment.”

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James is our Diet-Coke fuelled writer and has been with TCF pretty much since day 1, he can be found frequenting twitter at @_JBroomhead
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