SEMA eNews Vol. 14, No. 32, August 11, 2011

Racing News: Falken Tire Weathers Storm at Mid-Ohio

 

  falken
  Team Falken Tire took top honors in the GT class at Mid-Ohio for the first time in the performance tire manufacturer’s three-year ALMS career.

Falken Tire Weathers Perfect Storm
Declaring “perseverance pays off,” Team Falken Tire survived the storm that hit Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course 30 minutes before the finish and took top honors in the GT class for the first time in the performance tire manufacturer’s three-year ALMS career.

 Derrick Walker, Falken’s ALMS team manager, made the comment after previously expressing confidence in Falken’s capability at Mid-Ohio—a track he knows very well from years of competing as a manager and owner of IndyCar teams. 



Credit also went to Falken’s two team drivers, Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler, and his partner Bryan Sellers, who persevered through the race on a track notoriously tough on tires. Sellers qualified ninth and expressed disappointment with the position, considering Falken has finished in fifth place the last two races. However, Sellers started the race and started moving forward until he was hit from behind by the #04 Ford GT, which dropped the Porsche to 12th. The veteran driver fought hard and turned the car over to his teammate in 10th. Henzler entered the race and gradually moved to seventh place in GT, remaining there for a good portion of the race.

When the green came back out, Henzler immediately jumped two positions to fifth, though heavy rain followed, prompting a second yellow flag. However, it didn’t remain yellow for long, and when the green fluttered again, Henzler drove from fifth to first in a single lap.
 


ALMS officials decided with 10 minutes to go to red flag the race as the rain showed no signs of letting up, and Team Falken Tire took the win, earning its first podium and victory.



Besides the first-place finish, Falken Tire enjoyed a great fan weekend as it partnered with the Austin Hatcher Foundation for a “Racer Pack” giveaway. 


Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course marked the midway point of the ALMS season. Round 6 is in two weeks at Road America in Wisconsin, then a new street course in Baltimore, September 2–3, with a fast trek to the West Coast for the annual visit to Monterey and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, September 15–16, wrapping up with the season finale at Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, September 28–October 1.

To learn more about the American Le Mans team, visit www.wegetyougoing.com.

 

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  The JaguarRSR duo of XKRs successfully took the checkered flag in last weekend's Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge.

JaguarRSR Takes Checkered Flag at Mid-Ohio

From one extreme to another the JaguarRSR duo of XKRs successfully took the checkered flag in last weekend's dry then wet Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge. Under sunny skies and hot temperatures, the green flag dropped kicking off round five of the 2011 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron. After qualifying the car 12th in the GT field, PJ Jones drove the #98 JaguarRSR XKR GT for the first stint.

Jones raced through the twists and turns of the 2.258-mile road course for almost one hour and 30 minutes, after which he came in for a full-service stop. He handed the car over to his American teammate Rocky Moran Jr. and, shortly after, the weather took a turn for the worst. A big cell came right over the Lexington, Ohio, area making the remainder of the race quite a show.

With 10 minutes to go, the track was red flagged and as the clock winded down, it wasn't long after the checkered flag was waved. The #98 car finished 11th in class. After Bruno Junqueira qualified the car 11th on the GT grid, Ken Wilden took the green flag. By Lap 3, he had moved into the top 10.

At just about the hour marker the Canadian came in to serve his penalty, which held him in the box for 60 seconds. Then went back out for a few more laps before returning to pit lane for full service and a driver change to Junqueira. The Brazilian took it to the finish line. The #99 car finished just behind its counterpart, 12th in GT field.

Round Six of the American Le Mans Series, the Road Race Showcase, will be held at Road America, in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, on Saturday, August 20.

 

  yokohama
  Cameron Steele and Chad George won at the Lucas Oil off-road race Sunday night at Glen Helen Raceway for their first wins of the season.

Yokohama Tire Corporation-Sponsored Off-Roader Cameron Steele Wins Lucas

Yokohama Tire Corp. collected two first-place victories in the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series (LOORRS) event, August 7, at Glen Helen Raceway near San Bernardino, California. Longtime Yokohama-sponsored racer Cameron Steele captured his first Lucas Oil race of the season in the Pro Lite Class, as did Chad George, who took the title in the Super Lites Class. Steele and George won on off-the-shelf Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S tires.

Steele is a veteran off-road Trophy Truck class racer who has won championships in SCORE and SNORE. The two-time SCORE Person of the Year and TV commentator said the Yokohama tires were a big factor in helping drive his #16 Stronghold 300hp Ford Pro Lite Unlimited truck to victory.

The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series is a 16-race series, which combines the Midwest tradition of short course off-road racing with a West Coast influence. The next LOORRS event is September 24–25, Speedworld Off-Road Park in Surprise, Arizona. Visit www.lucasoiloffroad.com for details.

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