In previous News stories here at www.eurotuner.com, we covered Team Falken’s preparations for the Sebring 12-hour race, as well as the results for Audi, BMW and Aston Martin at the race.
In the race, Team Falken Tire almost didn’t make it to the start following an engine failure in the warm-up session. Fans watched as the experienced team worked quickly to replace the engine and repair damage.
Ninety minutes later, the car was ready to run, greeted by applause burst throughout the paddock.
Wolf Henzler then brought the 2012 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR onto the track to take the green flag with the rest of the ALMS field. "We have to thank everybody for all the help they gave us,” said Team Manager Derrick Walker. "Porsche employees were coming out of the woodwork to help us!"
Porsche works driver Henzler worked his way through the field to join the top 10 in the GT class in the first hour, running 37th overall. "I had a very good first stint," said Henzler. "I had to start from pit lane, but was able to make up some positions quickly. The tires and balance felt good."
Ninety minutes into the race, Henzer took third spot in the GT class but then the luck began to change. The driver noticed a vibration from the car that grew stronger with each lap.
After 40 laps, veteran racer Bryan Sellers took over, rejoining eighth in class. "As soon as I got in the car and it dropped off the jacks I could feel the vibration," said Sellers. "Unfortunately, you could tell it was a pretty big problem." After ten laps, Sellers and Walker brought the Porsche back into the paddock to investigate the problem.
The forward engine mount had cracked, taking valuable time to fix. The Porsche rejoined 13th in class, 16 laps behind the leaders, with Sellers at the wheel. "A lot of the race was just managing traffic. For a long time we felt like we were pushing really hard. We didn't get a chance to race anyone because we were in a race all on our own."
Unwilling to face defeat, the drivers and crew worked together for the remainder of the race. Martin Ragginger was the first driver to have a trouble-free stint, laying down consistent times and gaining positions.
The rest of the event passed without incident as they drove to their first 12 Hour of Sebring finish. "I'm pleased for Falken," said Team Manager Derrick Walker. "The tires were consistent and we learned a lot today. We worked for our position well and truly."
The team has much to do before the Long Beach Grand Prixm April 13-14 but historically the team has been strong on street courses.