Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Round 9 at VIR: Strong Progress for the 2010 Falken Tire Porsche

After the six car pileup in Baltimore, in which the Falken Tire Porsche was critically damaged, Team Falken Tire has been working tirelessly to ensure the formally retired 2010 Porsche RSR would be competitive enough to complete with the 2012 RSRs and factory teams in the American Le Mans Series GT class. In Round 9 at Virginia International Raceway, the hard work paid off and the team saw significant progress from Round 8 at Circuit of the Americas.

Despite being forced off course in the opening lap of the penultimate round, Team Falken Tire fought their way up from the back of the pack to not only lead the GT race, but put up a strong battle to hold second place behind a fellow Porsche. Although the team didn’t land on the podium, progress had been made with the 2010 car, which will aid in the final round at Petit Le Mans October 17-19 at Road Atlanta.

Before official practice sessions began, teams were able to test on track and experiment with various set ups. During these sessions, teams don’t look for outright speed. Instead, they’re using the time to use all kinds of different changes on the car and tires to determine ultimate set up for the race.

With testing complete, the team went back to the garage to work on the 2010 Porsche further.

Upon arrival, Falken Fanatic Cindy dropped off two trays of home baked goods for the tire crew and the car crew. From all of us, thank you, Cindy!

Team Falken Tire is one of the fastest in ALMS in pit stops, almost always gaining spots when the field comes in to pit. It takes a lot of practice, and these guys have it down.

When a driver prepares for his stint in the car, he has to unplug his headset from the pit stand in order to get ready. Each team has televisions in the pit box that the drivers will use to watch as much of the current situation as possible before waiting on the pit wall to jump into the car.

Another session complete and Artie got to work immediately on cleaning every inch of the Porsche. The team ensures that she always looks her best, cleaning her after each session.

Always friendly with the fans, Bryan and Wolf gave a VIP tour of the Falken Tire rig to Lex, Grier and Brent, three participants on the 10 Tenths Motorsport forum.

The drivers always go into great detail in the tours, usually going over the allotted time. Not only are they competitive on track, but they always make time for fans after each session to make sure they’re getting the best experience at the track.

On race day, Falken Tire Spokesmodels Katie and Juliana signed posters and handed out swag. This young race fan was shy at first, but warmed up to the girls in no time.

Some other young fans were not so shy. Watch out, Bryan and Wolf. This guy has some game!

After the models signed autographs, it was time for the drivers to sign autographs. The Falken drivers always draw a big crowd, and from time to time, they even helped roll their own posters. Nice job, guys!

Of course, sitting still during an autograph session is the perfect time for Mo, our truck driver to attack the drivers with silly string. Never a dull moment here!

The temperatures were high on race day as the team pulled the car onto the pre-race grid for the fan walk. Most of the team members found shady places to relax during the grid before the pre-race ceremonies started.

As always, the Falken girls drew a crowd with fans lining up to get their photos taken with the girls and the Porsche. If you’re at Petit Le Mans, be sure to visit Falken Tire on the grid walk!

Pre-race ceremonies complete, each team member made sure to wish Wolf good luck and a safe race before the pace laps began.

Full pit stop for the Falken Tire Porsche!
With another race complete, it was time for the team to pack up and head back home for a few days before getting back on a plane for the final race of the year. Separate from the competitor paddock, the crew responsible for the tires worked late into the evening getting everything packed up.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month! All month long, Team Falken Tire will be wearing pink ribbons on crew helmets to show our support. Thanks Cindy, for bringing them by!

Fan Photos
Always creating a graphic for each race, Anthony (@atflorio), send us this picture, which closely resembles the trophies for the Oak Tree Grand Prix.

Bob (@BobGrant481) snapped a quick shot of the Porsche before she sped under the bridge.

 Chris (@CJensen1222) was one of the first Falken Fanatics to stop by and say hello during the weekend. Great shot, Chris!

A longtime supporter of Falken Tire, Trevor (@HighRevsPhoto) has been present at a lot of the races to capture the Porsche at various tracks on the 2013 calendar.

Our own Joyce Lex (@JoyceLex) can always be depended on to tweet pictures of the Falken Girls. Thanks to Juliana (@JulianaDaniell) and Katie for all their hard work on race day!

Porsche always takes great care of Team Falken at race events, and even of our fans too! Porsche gave Falken Tire three Vitesse rides to give away to the fans at VIR. Kyle (@KyleGibbyGibson) was one of three race fans to win a ride in an ALMS pace car!

ALMS always giving the best access to race fans, allowing fans like Lex (@LexRaleigh) to watch the sessions from just a short distance away from pit lane.

This photo of the Porsche making it through the first few turns of the track is from Sarah (@majorHARKENfan), another die hard who tweeted us photos all weekend long. Thanks, Sarah!

Although he couldn’t be there in person, Falken Fanatic Mike (@MikeyP155) showed his support long distance with his Falken swag. Mike and his wife Renee just might be our two most supportive Canadian fans. They won a lunch with the drivers last season and have been there ever since to cheer us on!

Performance Prime (@PerformPrime) loves America. We do too. And Falken Girls, of course.

Chad (@The_CTW) was another winner of a Vitesse ride on track at VIR! Thanks for playing the trivia contest, Chad!

Falken fans come in all ages, and this one definitely tops our list as the cutest. Thanks Todd (@toddalvis) for bringing her to the autograph session. We hope she had a good time! 

On Instagram, Will (WillyTwoScoops) tagged Falken Tire in this photo of the Falken Porsche leading three factory-backed cars during a strong race stint.

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