AT BALTIMORE'S INNER HARBOR
Another Career Milestone Performance for American Young Gun Bryan Sellers sailed to his second careerAmerican Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón (ALMS) victory September 3 on the street's of Baltimore's Inner Harbor. The Braselton, GA-resident shared the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 GT3 RSR with German Wolf Henzler giving the pair its second ALMS GT class victory of the season. Though it was the second time Sellers, who drove the second half of the two-hour inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix, had stood on the top step of the ALMS podium - the first coming earlier this season at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course - it was the first time he was driving at the time of the checkered flag. Sellers' performance behind the wheel on the tight, concrete wall-lined circuit again established why he is considered among America's elite, young drivers and added yet another career milestone to his already impressive resume.The massive crowd that lined the streets of the 2.1-mile, 12-turn temporary course witnessed a spectacular race in which the Team Falken Tire Porsche was the center attraction on several occasions. Henzler started the car fifth in class after qualifying in an abbreviated day of on-track action Friday. The Porsche factory driver made an impressive inside pass entering Turn One as the green flag flew. Despite contact with another car he was able to continue, now running third in class. 30-minutes later, Henzler successfully made a move for the lead taking his place at the head of the class. Shortly after the pass, a full course caution gave the Derrick Walker (Indianapolis, IN)-managed operation the opportunity to make the car's only pit stop. Henzler handed the blue and teal Porsche to Sellers now fitted with fresh Falken Tires and fuel in third position. It was then time for the former open-wheel racing champion to shine. Sellers attacked the course which circled iconic Baltimore landmarks like Camden Yards and the City of Baltimore Convention Center to regain two positions lost in the pit stop sequence. With 38 minutes remaining, Sellers pressured the class leaders from third when the weight of his assault forced an error as the class leader and second-place fought to stay ahead. The Team Falken Tire factory driver pounced on the opportunity willing the rear-engine car into the top spot. Now in control, Sellers would not let-up setting the car's fastest race laps in the closing stages. He grew the gap and crossed the finish line as the highest placing Porsche and solidified his spot in the top-four of the GT championship chase. Team Falken Tire also used the second win of the year to become the highest-ranked Porsche in the manufacturer's championship and third in the tire manufacturer rankings. In addition to providing Team Falken Tire its second, international sports car victory, Sellers also added the organization's first Green X Challenge trophy to its accolades. The Green X Challenge, the first of its kind in motorsport, awards the entry which is the most efficient; traveling further, faster on the least amount of petroleum used. The Porsche 911 GT3 RSR Sellers pilots uses an E85 (85% ethanol-blend) fuel. Sellers now travels to Monterey, CA for the penultimate round of the 2011 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón. The six-hour, ModSpace American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patrón takes the green flag at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on September 17. Quotes
About the race:"It was a really good stint for me. Wolf had a great stint as well and when he pitted he handed the car over in the lead. I knew at that point we had a chance and we were able to open a gap on the field through the end of the race. The Team Falken Tire Porsche was really strong and the Falken tires held up very well for the duration of the race. The win was extremely special for a lot of reasons: it was the inaugural Baltimore GP, it was our first dry-tire win at Falken and, for me, taking the checker sweetened all of that." About Falken Tire's first "dry" race win: "Falken Tire has put a huge effort forward for this program. With all the testing we have done in Japan and all the work Team Falken Tire has put forth has prepared us well for these types of weekends. Falken has done a great job of progressing and finally we could show that. The tires were fantastic! We had good speed and great duration. That comes from a lot of long hours both over in Japan and here but it's all worth it to get the win. This is why everyone has been working so hard!"About the Baltimore spectator support: "The victory lane celebration was by far one of the coolest moments I have ever had in my racing career. There were people cheering for as far as you could see. The fans at Baltimore were amazing! There were so many people that came out to the first event ever and they were so supportive. I was extremely impressed by the people of Baltimore and their efforts! I hope this is one I can come back to for a long, long time."About the challenge of fine-tuning the car with limited track time: "This was a good weekend to have a co-driver! Wolf and I and the engineers were able to discuss a lot of things to help dissect the track. We made a lot of changes through the weekend and ultimately had a fast car and a great race."