Monterey, CA. (May. 12). Just days after receiving new, taller tires, a new front splitter and a modified rear wing, Team Falken Tire proved their strength when they took a gamble in pitlane to ultimately lead the GT class in the final stint in the American Le Mans Monterey Presented by Patron. Ultimately finishing seventh, Falken drivers Bryan Sellers and Wolf Henzler had fans and officials of the American Le Mans Series on their feet at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, providing some of the best on track action of the race.
Bryan Sellers started the race ninth in class, and raced the 2012 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR up the charts with lap times two Tenths faster than the BMWs ahead of him. Two hours in. Sellers comfortably held onto fifth position, and soon pitted in third. Henzler rejoined in seventh with a full fuel load and fresh Falken Tire Azenis RT slick tires. The Porsche works driver worked his way up to fifth position before handing the wheel back over to Sellers.
It was under a yellow flag that the team's progress started to shift. The Porsche was penalized with a stop and go in pit lane for passing under the yellow conditions while pass arounds were happening on track during Henzler's stint. Despite the team's strong disapproval with the penalty, they complied, and Sellers rejoined in seventh position in the GT class. "Unfortunately, I think we got cheated by the system a little today," said Sellers. Not to be deterred, Sellers put down lap times only two tenths away from the class leaders. "From where we started the weekend, to even be in contention when we were was a major gain." With only two hours to go, Sellers charged his way to fourth in class and advanced to third once the Corvette ahead of him passed.
The real excitement began with less than two hours to go on the clock, Team Falken Tire pitted for tires, fuel and a driver change. Henzler rejoined the field in seventh, and after a short time, gained a position after passing a Ferrari. Another yellow flag came out on course, moving the rest of the GT field to pit for tires and fuel with just an hour to go. Team Manager Derrick Walker and Team Falken Tire took a risky gamble and rolled the dice, and had Henzler pit for fuel only. Media and opposing teams watched in awe as the 17 Porsche pulled away from the pits and reentered the hot track in