American Le Mans Series Bryan Sellers Visits Mysterious Virginia International Raceway

Discussion in 'National Series' started by Administrator, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. Administrator

    Administrator Administrator Staff Member

    Subtitle:
    Questions Offer Possible Edge in ALMS 4-Hour Race for Falken Works Driver


    ALTON, Vir., September 10, 2012 - Mysterious Virginia International Raceway (VIR). It's the sort of slogan one might have expected to see touting the Alton, Vir. racetrack in 1950s roadside advertising. Instead, it is a different kind of harbinger to Bryan Sellers. The VIR 240 on Saturday, September 15 is the penultimate round of the 2012 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón (ALMS) season and the Braselton, Ga.-resident believes the questions surrounding the race's premiere will be the edge he and co-driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) will need to continue the one-race winning "streak" of the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.
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    While the facility itself is familiar to many of the racers who will be attempting to claim the top step of the podium this weekend, the 3.27-mile, 17-turn road course has never been raced on by the ALMS. The track will provide a combination of Porsche-ideal turns - being able to quickly go full throttle coming out of tight turns onto long straights - and others which will wreak havoc on the rear-engine machine - the high-speed transition corners where mid-engine cars benefit from centralized weight bias. From its long, bending front-"straight" to the tight turn one/two complex known as the "Horseshoe" all the way to its far "signature" turn named "Oak Tree", VIR will provide a constant give-and-take to the competitors in the Series. What remains to be seen, the "mystery", is which car will be best over a full lap and over a full stint. Which driver can adapt.
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    Adding to the mystery is the endurance race-nature of the VIR 240. The race will be a four-hour timed event. It joins the season-opening Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the four-hour American Le Mans Monterey (Calif.), the six-hour Road America Road Race Showcase and the season-ending 10-hour/1,000-mile Petit Le Mans as endurance races on the ALMS schedule. Endurance racing rewards those who are consistently quick over long periods rather than fast for a short time. The small difference in mindset and preparation - as well as the additional time on the clock during which anything can happen - benefits Porsche and drivers with the cool calculating style of Sellers. It will allow Team Falken Tire to execute its unique strategies that have helped give the team two top-five finishes and a win this season. That is where the mystery could pay off.
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    When one couples the unfamiliarity of the track-car combination with the surprise-a-minute GT class, "mysterious" is a great tagline for the race. Sellers and Henzler won the most recent ALMS round on Baltimore's Inner Harbor. It was their second-consecutive win on the street course but the first podium the team had enjoyed during a season of challenges. Since receiving Porsche's newest iteration of the classic 911 GT3 RSR, Team Falken Tire struggled with matching the car to their newest tire. Recent additions of engineering support and testing has begun to pay dividends and the team has enjoyed a string of successes as a result.
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    Since winning his third career ALMS race at Baltimore two weeks ago, Sellers has been on a whirlwind schedule. Team Falken Tire tested new tire compounds and constructions at Road Atlanta the Wednesday following Baltimore. Sellers drove 150 laps (625 miles) at the site of the season-finale before boarding a plane that evening for California. Once in Monterey, Calif., Sellers raced in a GRAND-AM-sanctioned event finishing second. He returned to his home to continue his daily training regime prior to leaving for promotional and race activities at VIR.
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    New track; longer-than-normal distance; the balance of the track both being beneficial and destructive to the advantages of each car make; the ambition to close the season on a high-note. Motorsports "mystery" at its best awaits the ALMS at VIR.
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    Follow the mystery unravel. The VIR 240 will air on ESPN2, Sunday, September 16 at 5 p.m. (ET). Live flag-to-flag streaming of the race can be seen on ESPN3, September 15 beginning at 2:15 p.m. Multiple in-car cameras, available at www.ALMS.com,will complement the live race stream. Live coverage of qualifying in all classes can be found on ESPN3 opening with GTC class at 3:25 p.m. Friday, September 14.
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    Official practice begins on Friday morning. Live timing and scoring of all sessions, including qualifying and the race, is offered at www.ALMS.com.

    Quotes
    Bryan Sellers:
    On how the Team Falken Tire Porsche will perform at VIR:
    "It is very difficult to determine how VIR will equate to the Team Falken Tire program. It is quite a different track to many others that we go to. That makes it very difficult to make predictions. However, when we look at the track on paper it should suit the Falken Porsche very well. There are some corners that are very important which lead onto long straightaways where putting the power down efficiently is a necessity. That will be in our favor. There will also be some sections that will be challenging for us such as the high-speed esses."
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    On the debut of VIR in the ALMS: "VIR is a great facility and I have been involved with some great races there. I fully expect the ALMS event to be one of the best, if not the best, they have ever seen. There are tons of places for the fans to watch and enjoy the race and the track is not short of good passing zones. There is action everywhere for the fans and the drivers. Over four hours of racing, this should be a memorable event for the Series."
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    On the recent test at Road Atlanta: "The Falken tire test was directly based on the improvement of our Petit Le Mans race package. We are always looking forward and certainly were able to find some things that we will be able to use and roll over into VIR. Testing is so expensive and hard to come by that you must learn as much as possible every chance you have."
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    On what can translate from the Baltimore win to VIR: "I will venture a guess and say that, unfortunately, nothing will carry over from the Baltimore race to VIR except how it felt to win. Hopefully the feeling will give us a little extra rise and help to carry us just a little higher, and produce just a little better result than we would have had without it."
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    On the 'joy' of his hectic schedule: "The craziness is what makes everything fun! I love the traveling and the hectic schedules. It really makes you think about how lucky you are to be doing what you love. When you get to the track and get in the race car, all the outside factors disappear and your only thought is doing your job to the best of your ability every corner, every lap, every session."



    Source:
    Bryan Sellers PR


    Races:
    American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón VIR 240




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