Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Bryan Sellers Named 2012 ALMS Most Popular Driver

October 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Motorsport News

Falken Tire Factory Driver Sees Success in Petit Le Mans Effort

Winning is what Team Falken Tire factory driver Bryan Sellers does best. His resume is a string of race and championship titles. Sunday evening, October 21, at the annual American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila PatrĂ³n “Night of Champions” banquet, the Braselton, Ga.-resident added what may be the most humbling and important honor of his young career. Sellers was awarded the fan-voted “American Le Mans Series Most Popular Driver” award for 2012. The annual prize goes to the driver, in any of the sport’s five classes, deemed the most popular after an extensive online vote at Entering the evening’s celebration of the season, Sellers knew he was among the final ten drivers eligible for the award. However, it was not until the ceremony itself that the affable driver heard his name called by event MC Brian Till affirming his place as one of the Series’ most significant drivers.

As for the race that brought the world of sports car racing to Sellers’ hometown, Saturday’s Petit Le Mans did not add to the accolades. But, perhaps, the race said more about the former open-wheel racing champion than all the podiums he has amassed in his career. Joining with fulltime teammate Wolf Henzler (Germany) and team regular Martin Ragginger (Austria) in the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Sellers and team would end the 1,000-mile race sixth in GT class. The ALMS finale was a result far from the winning performance they showed earlier in the season at the Grand Prix of Baltimore, but it was a near perfect execution by all involved that drew almost as much satisfaction for Sellers.

The 1,000-mile/10-hour Petit Le Mans has become a hallmark event in international sports car racing with teams being drawn from around the globe. The competition was intense both within the 42-car field and with the 2.54-mile, 12-turn Road Atlanta circuit itself. Knowing they were down on outright speed to their challengers, the team put in place a strategy to run quickly and consistently, gaining wherever they could but never leaving anything on the table. It was a mental and physical exercise for the drivers who knew that any Falken Tire-shod wheel put wrong would jeopardize the entire day.

Sellers took the green flag for the event, his 50th career ALMS start, and pulled the No. 17 into the top-six by the end of the first hour. Thus begun the team’s fight to gain positions with each driver getting roughly an hour in, two hours out of the car for the race’s nine-hour, 37-minute duration to travel 1,000 miles. In the end, the group would come within five seconds of breaking into the top-five. However, the checkered flag fell on the race and the season before that final time could be erased. Despite the frustration of not breaking into the top-five, the approach demanded of his skill, patience and precision was rewarding in-and-of itself.

For his season-long effort, which included the win at Baltimore – his third career victory in the ALMS – as well two fourth-place finishes, Sellers was awarded eighth in the Driver Championship. In addition, he helped Porsche’s four-car 911 GT3 RSR GT class effort capture second in the Manufacturer Championship, Falken to third in the Tire constructors battle and Team Falken Tire to fifth in the Team Championship.


Source: Bryan Sellers MR

Photos: Porsche