Team Falken’s ALMS team took its second consecutive fifth place finish at Sunday’s race at historic Mosport International Raceway. The Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, prepared by Manager Derrick Walker and driven by Porsche works and Falken team driver Wolf Henzler and his partner, team driver Bryan Sellers, worked its way through an extremely crowded field of competitors, including 15 GT entrants. The class was won by the Corvette team driven by Oliver Gavin and Jan Magnusson.
Though Team Falken endured challenging weather all weekend, amid a record-breaking heat wave for the area, making it difficult to set up the Porsche’s chassis and choice of tires, Henzler qualified the team in 7th on Saturday, and the team started off well in Sunday’s race.
“Excellent pit stops and fuel strategy by our team put the Porsche in good position,” stated Kevin Jones, Falken’s ALMS supervisor. “But a confusing penalty after the first pit stop caused us to suffer a stop-and-go penalty that moved the team from second back to seventh position.”
Henzler fought back to fifth place and consistent tire and driver performance kept the Porsche RSR in that spot when Sellers took over to make the final run to the finish in the two-hour and 45-minute race before an appreciative Canadian audience.
“Mosport is one tough track to prepare for,” declared Walker. “We used the week between Lime Rock and here to best prepare ourselves for Mosport, but found ourselves chasing the weather a lot of the time here. Our first practice on Friday was during very high temperatures while it cooled down a little for Saturday’s qualifying session only to warm up again on Sunday for the race.
“Nevertheless, our work during practice did pay off as our Azenis race slicks performed consistently over their stints,” Walker added. “Unfortunately, the penalty we were assessed moved our car from 2nd place to 7th where we started though we had great pit stops and a good strategy call all race long. The final result was not as we had hoped and could have been much better, but we feel we continue to get stronger every week and look forward to our next race at Mid-Ohio.”
“Fifth place finishes are not our goal, but with our fuel system issue in Lime Rock and this event’s passing on yellow penalty pushing us several positions back, we still feel good about our program’s progress and tire development,” acknowledged Nick Fousekis, Falken’s Director of Motorsports Marketing and Events. “Considering the company we keep – consisting of many manufacturer-backed teams – we’re faring well. Another notable accomplishment from Mosport was Team Falken being the top-ranked Porsche finisher in the GT class.”
Mosport marked the second race in July after the Le Mans break and teams will now move on to compete at Mid-Ohio in just two weeks on August 5-6.