Team Falken repeats Baltimore ALMS GT class victory
Team Falken’s strong tyre performance and experience in last year’s victory allowed it to score a repeat performance at the Baltimore stage of the American Le Mans Series in the GT class. Having spent limited time on the track during practice, including some “light contact with the wall”, Team manager Derrick Walker chose Falken’s 2011 Baltimore tyres over the “new generation” tyres. “We relied on our track record at Baltimore, and the rest was indeed history,” stated Kevin Jones, Falken’s ALMS supervisor.
“It was a great all-around performance for Falken. Our street circuit tyre’s performance was outstanding and we were able to run very consistent lap times.”
Team Driver Wolf Henzler started the Falken Porsche 911 GT3 RSR with excellent pit stops keeping the teal and blue team in contention. Following the last stop, Bryan Sellers drove to P1 and maintained his position to the end of the race, holding off the #4 Corvette and #01 Ferrari which were both aggressively challenging to the end.
“We discussed in our engineering meeting about when to pit,” stated Walker. “We kept an eye on the window to see when the earliest we could stop was and finish the race. That was around 37 minutes. When that time came up [during the race] and we looked at where we were and how we were running, we were leading. The decision was to pit before everyone else did, so we brought Wolf in early. The opposition must have been surprised by that, and a lap or so later, they all followed suit, because they knew they were toasted and had to do it real quickly. We had what it took to stay ahead and it worked out great.
“We used the same tyres we had last year, and it was again one of Falken’s treasures – its’ ‘Baltimore tyre,’” continued Walker. “Initially the tyre wasn’t the quickest, but over the long haul the Azenis RT slick wore our competition down.”
Team Falken visits Road Atlanta next week to practice in anticipation of the season finale there on 17-20 October. The next race is two weeks away for the Tequila Patron VIR 240 when the ALMS will visit Virginia International Raceway for the first time on 13-15 September.