After a three-race “introduction” into the American Le Mans Series GT2 class in 2009, Team Falken Tire is getting serious for 2010. The California-based squad, the endurance racing arm for the Japanese tire manufacturer, has a 2010-spec Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in its possession, lead driver Bryan Sellers has confirmed.
Sellers and Dominic Cicero raced at Long Beach, Petit Le Mans and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in a 2008-spec Porsche that served its purpose – mainly giving the manufacturer a solid base on which to start its endurance racing platform that will eventually lead to customer tires.
“Everybody knew what we were going up against. Falken came in knowing it wasn't going to compete with a 2009 car, and we used that as a steppingstone for 2010,” Sellers said on this past week's Midweek Motorsport program. “They are probably as serious as anything I've seen – any other tire manufacturer. They've come in with the mindset of ‘We want to beat Michelin one day.' It doesn't have to be tomorrow or the next day because they're not naive.
“You have teams in here who have been winners of multiple races, not just in ALMS but Le Mans, FIA GT and the list goes on and on,” he added. “I'd like to think that we can be nipping on the heels of podium finishes in 2010 and that's ultimately where we want to be. That being said, if we're going to every race and not trying to win, then we're there for the wrong reasons. If we're going to try and finish third or try to finish fifth, then our tire development is never going to be where it should be.”
Sellers is also confident that Falken will make its way to the Le Mans 24 Hours in the near future. “I believe deep down that they do want to be there and they will be there,” he said.