Team Falken Tires strong run of results in the American Le Mans Series came to an end at Road America last weekend.
After two consecutive top four finishes in the competitive GT class, the team were aiming for more of the same at the four mile longer circuit, but ultimately, it wasn’t to be.
Regular driver Wolf Henzler qualified the car in eighth position, and in true Henzler form, made up three positions on the opening lap. “We were closer in our lap times to our competitors and in the first couple of laps in each stint we could stay at the same pace,” he said.
By the time Henzler handed the driving duties over to team mate Bryan Sellers, the car was running in sixth position in class.
Despite managing to make up a few more positions during the next stages of the race, Sellers believed that they still wouldn’t have been able to compete for the victory. “Unfortunately we don’t have enough speed right now at the moment to fight for the win. One of the things we’ve found over the last couple races is that we can just run the race and execute it the best we can though pit stops and strategy, we can put ourselves in a strong position.”
Just twenty laps later – Sellers began to complain of increased oversteer. Despite the telemetry showing no problem, only a few laps later the Falken Tire Porsche lost a tyre which sent Sellers into the tyre barrier at the Kink. Bryan was unharmed in the incident, but it was a frustrating end to the day for the team.
“I still didn’t feel right, so I slowed down to a speed where if something were to happen, it was still a savable speed,” Sellers explained in the immediate aftermath of the incident.
“Bryan and Wolf were driving the wheels off the car and it looked like we were heading toward a decent finish. The team has done an excellent job all season long, especially during the pit stops,” Falken’s ALMS Supervisor Kevin Jones said. “Right now we are analyzing everything and looking at what improvements can be made entering the last stretch of the season.”