Bryan Sellers will become the first non-factory Porsche driver to contest a race behind the wheel of a Porsche 911 RSR at the start of the 62nd Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
Up until now, every single driver of the 911 RSR has been a full Porsche factory driver, but Team Falken Tire have now become the first team to privately own a 911 RSR, fielding Sellers, who has raced 911s since 2008, alongside Wolf Henzler and Marco Holzer in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
The team missed the opening round of the season because of the car’s build schedule, but all three of the team’s drivers have completed laps behind the wheel at the official TUDOR Championship test at Sebring in February. The car came to the test direct from Porsche Motorsport’s factory in Germany, still unpainted and preparing for its first run on Falken’s Azensis tyre.
At the end of the test the team sat fourth in the GT Le Mans category, proving themselves against the two Porsche North America factory cars and the works programmes from BMW and SRT. The test also gave Sellers the title of becoming the first non-factory Porsche driver to ever turn a wheel in a 911 RSR, with Henzler and Holzer both full-time Porsche drivers. Henzler will compete alongside Sellers for the remainder of the TUDOR Championship, while Holzer will contest the remaining two TUDOR Championship endurance events alongside a full-time FIA World Endurance Championship campaign.
“It’s certainly an honor and a privilege to be the only non-factory driver to be in the new Porsche 911 RSR,” said Sellers. “First and foremost, it’s an incredible car and I am very excited to be able to race it. There is a lot of knowledge that comes from being associated with Porsche and Falken Tire. I have spent the last few years of my career being fortunate enough to learn and be paired with both of them. This opportunity will bring together everything we’ve learned as a team over those years.”
Despite a strong showing at the Sebring test, the team are well aware that nothing can fully prepare them for the twelve hour slog that awaits them, with their car destined to be pushed right to the limit.
“It is difficult but you cannot approach Sebring any differently than any other race,” Sellers concluded. “You have to be smart and push hard the entire time. You must be fast and try and put yourself in a position to win in the end. Anything short of that, and I can promise you, you won’t win.”