Ten years on from running a sole Porsche 997 GT3 R for the first time on the Nordschleife, Falken Motorsports will field two of the latest generation 911 GT3 Rs in the Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS) as well as the iconic 24 Hour race in 2021.
Following on from the 10th and 11th place finishes last year in the 24 hour race, the Falken Motorsports team will continue to be run by the Butzbach-based specialist, Schnabl Engineering, that has supported the tyre manufacturer since 2011. Falken have confirmed that they plan to enter both 911s in the seven round NLS series, with the two cars taking part in all the races that precede the 24 Hour race, scheduled for the 3rd-6th June, starting with the ADAC Westfalenfahrt on the 27thMarch.
Given the on going disruption due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the team’s preparations compared to previous seasons will differ as the decision has been taken to test solely on the Nordschleife as opposed to its traditional roll out at Portimao. “Given the current situation, it makes most sense to stay in Germany and we will be present with both cars at the NLS official test on the 20th March,” concludes Olbertz.
Falken Motorsports also sees a slightly adjusted driver line-up for 2021, which sees two new drivers join the tyre brand’s team in Lance David Arnold and Alessio Picariello. Lance David Arnold presents the German TV channel VOX’s car show “Auto Mobil” is a Nordschleife specialist and also brings recent experience of the Porsche 911 GT3 R at the “Green Hell” to the team. Among the experienced and long-standing Falken drivers are Martin Ragginger and Klaus Bachler. The duo have already tasted success together with leading Falken’s first overall victory with a Porsche at the Nürburgring in 2018.
Sven Müller is another returnee to the Falken Porsche in 2021. In addition to the Nordschleife races for Falken, he will dovetail his Nürburgring commitments with further international GT racing outings.
Further Porsche experience comes to the team from its works drivers. Former DTM driver and Bathurst 12h winner Dirk Werner and 2018 Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland champion Thomas Preining are reacquainted with Falken for 2021. They are joined by Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific Selected Driver Alessio Picariello. The Belgian was the winner of the LMGTE Drivers’ Championship in the 2020 European Le Mans Series, among other accolades.
“Falken is delighted to confirm its intention to return to motorsport in 2021,” says motorsports manager Stefanie Olbertz. “2020 was a very difficult time for fans, the NLS series and motorsport industry as a whole, and we hope that this year, by fielding two cars, we can entertain the enthusiasts, marshals and support the sector that has been hit so hard. The NLS did an incredible job to ensure that we could race at all in 2020 and we want thank the organisers for putting in place procedures that enable the sport to continue.”
Falken Motorsports will again contest the season opener which is scheduled for the ADAC Westfalenfahrt on March 27th.