Having the distinction of being the only Porsche team to win in the ALMS GTE category, Falken tire ended the season on a high, winning the Petit Le Mans event at Road Atlanta. The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship has already seen confirmation of a Porsche factory-supported GTLM-classed two-car entry in the form of CORE Autosport, and now the third and final car will be seen in the now familiar Falken blue and green livery.
Derrick Walker will stay on to continue pushing his team toward the front with excellent race strategy and management, while the team has also confirmed that Porsche werks driver Wolf Henzler will be again joined by Bryan Sellers to pilot the car for 2014. No indication has been given as to who else will join the team for the endurance races, though they used Nick Tandy last year, so it is possible that he will continue as the third driver.
Prior to their Petit Le Mans victory, the team were apparently given the opportunity to test Porsche’s newest weapon, the 2014 911 RSR evolution.
Of the test, Derrick Walker said, “When you look at the new 911, it’s a bigger step from the current car in terms of optimizing what it needs for a very competitive GT series. It will have all the things every racer needs: more downforce, lighter, more power, more grip, more mechanical grip. Porsche is continuing to make a serious commitment to GT racing and I couldn’t be happier.”
Falken is expected to be among the only privateer teams in the GT LeMans category, and are currently the only privateer Porsche team to run a 991 RSR in the world. With most of their competition receiving factory support, Falken will have a tough road to travel in 2014, but if anyone can make it work, this resilient team can. Unfortunately, GTLM remains the only category in which Falken can show their muscle, as all other classes of TUSC have been mandated to run on Continental tires.
Starting The Season Late
With the RSR evolution chassis just having been finished, Team Falken Tire will not be able to take delivery of their new chassis in time to prepare it for the 2014 TUDOR USCC season opener at the 24 Hours of Daytona in January. The team has stated that they will take their time preparing the car and will show up strong and ready to go at the 12 Hours of Sebring in March, and committed to the remainder of the 2014 United SportsCar Championship season.
With the victory at Petit Le Mans, Falken should be gifted with an automatic entry to the 24 hours of Le Mans in June. No announcement has yet been made as to whether or not that race would be on their calendar.
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[Falken 991 RSR livery mock-up provided by Andy Blackmore designs]