Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fourth of July Weekend at Lime Rock Park with Falken Tire

For teams who don’t compete in Le Mans, the two month break can feel long and boring. Falken Tire used the time productively to prepare for Round 4 at Lime Rock as well as the rest of the season. The team completed numerous tests with drivers Bryan Sellers and Wolf Henzler in efforts of continuing to strengthen the team’s performance. 

Lime Rock Park took many of the teams by surprise with the high temperatures and even higher humidity. The Northeast corner of Connecticut brought temperatures in the high 90s with 95% humidity. The team handled the heat well to enjoy the 4th of July American Le Mans Series weekend at Lime Rock Park. 

In the final minutes before taking the Porsche to tech, Crew Chief Alex takes a moment to relax.

Back in the Falken Tire team rig, Bryan and our truck driver/jack of all trades Mo decided they needed to fix the ventilation system in the office. Natural engineers, they chose cardboard and painter’s tape as appropriate tools.

As you can see, it wasn’t the best of solutions. Next time, they’ll have to leave it to the expertise of Dan, our fabricator. Don’t quit your day job, Bryan!

The temperatures at Lime Rock Park even started to hamper set up day. Plates that were glued to the ground were not only coming off, but taking pieces of the paddock with them.
Once set up day was complete, the team got together for a 4th of July barbeque. As many of our fans know, the Falken Tire team members love to have fun. The team BBQ turned into a water fight of epic proportions.

As anyone would expect, Bryan and Wolf were two of the key trouble makers. No one was left untouched as the water works began, and by the end of the night everyone was soaked.

The dinner was also to celebrate the team’s second place finish in the previous ALMS Round at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Team Manager Derrick Walker is holding the trophy. Thankfully, it survived the water fight.

The following morning, the team went out on track for the first practice session.

Wolf prepping in the final moments before kicking off the practice session.

The view from the top level of the Falken Tire pit stand. Since space in the pits can be limited, the team has a two level stand that holds multiple data screens, and six team personnel.

John and Anthony have been long time supporters of Team Falken Tire and stopped by to present Wolf with his own “Wolf on Board” shirt!
So that the Bryan and the rest of the team weren’t left out, they also brought the drivers this shirt too. Thanks, Anthony!

As with almost every race event we go to, Bryan and Wolf stopped by the Porscheplatz at Lime Rock Park. With the United Sports Car Series getting so close, the duo fielded many questions about the future of team Falken Tire as well as sports car racing in America.

Meanwhile, back in the garage, the crew was hard at work getting the car prepared for qualifying.

Artie and Besim make the final adjustments as Lee watches on.

Falken Tire Creative team member Qazi gets footage for another Falken video.

Besim and Mike get the right tires on the Porsche as Bryan waits to start the session. Since different temperatures, tracks and track services are all different, getting the right tire for the right session is critical.

Yoshi gets comfortable while watching timing and scoring.

In the final warm up session before the race, Derrick, Brian, Sebastien and Wolf watch on as Bryan lays down some laps.

Even though the warm up was early in the morning, the temperatures were still high. The drivers were still tired after spending sufficient time in the car.

With the new 2013 team posters in hand and the HPI Racing RC car on display, the drivers and Falken Girls Katie and Randyl braved the heat for the ALMS autograph session. Despite almost unbearable temperatures, the fans turned out by the masses to meet the drivers, get autographs and take away some Falken Tire swag.

Always gentlemen, the male team members always take care of the ladies of the team. During the hottest points of the days, Lee and Yoshi didn’t mind providing a few minutes of shade.

Some lucky race fans were also able to get their photos taken with the Falken drivers. The man pictured here with Bryan and Wolf used to work with Bryan when he raced at Skip Barber Racing School.

As the temperatures continued to climb after the warm up session on race day, the team decided to start the race on a different set of tires than what they qualified with. This decision put the #17 Porsche at the very back of the field for the start of the race, but also added to the confidence of the team’s performance. 

Bryan gets suited up as the order for fans to clear the grid is being given.

At the end of his stint, Bryan sat in the shade for the remainder of the race, watching the event play out at Lime Rock Park.

Race complete, the Falken Tire crew tears down and packs up. The #17 Porsche finished 8th out of 11 cars. Although not the best performance the team has had this year, the team gathered valuable feedback that will be applicable to future races with similar conitions. Next up is Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, July 18th-20th.

Fan Photos
Lime Rock Park brought out many of our Falken Fanatics who were kind enough to stop by as well as tweet us photos to include in our blog. Be sure to also send in your #TeamFalken photos to to win the fan photo of the week!

Anthony (@atflorio) took this photo of Wolf behind the wheel of the 17 Porsche GT3 RSR.

Wolf and Bryan walking back from pit lane following an on-track session, by Brett (@bwass24).

Calyeu (@calyeuracing) caught the Porsche in a quiet moment in the paddock

Car Guy Nation (@CarGuyNation) stopped by to see our two Porsches. Like most of our fans, they wanted to take the HPI version home.

The drivers signing stacks of hero cards and posters during the autograph session, by John (@John_DiGeronimo).

You can always depend on Joyce (@joycelex) for photos of the beautiful Falken ladies. Katie and Randyl attended Lime Rock Park to support the team and give away autographs and swag to fans.

Watching from the front straight, Matt from a motorsport forum sent us this action shot.

Last year, Michael (@MGD4477) played a team twitter contest and won lunch with Bryan and Wolf. This year he came back to show his support and was the first fan to tweet us photos live from the event. Thanks Michael!

Photographer Stephen (@StephenMinnig) tweeted us this action photo of Bryan Sellers behind the wheel.

Back in the paddock after an on track session, the RSR sits in the sun, giving fans a chance to see it up close. Photo by Tim (@tim_hillard). 

For all of the action at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, follow us on twitter at @FalkenTire and @FalkenALMS. Visit for schedule information.

1 comment:

  1. Great to see Team Falken Tire again. Most fan-focused team in the paddock. Hope we get to see you at Lime Rock again in 2014 - if you're there, I'm there!