Posts

Falken Celebrates Two Top-15 Finishes at the Nürburgring 24-Hours

falken logo square

 

 

The ADAC Zurich 24-Hour Race at the Nürburgring last weekend once again proved to be the toughest of endurance challenges. The Falken team overcame extreme weather conditions to complete the iconic race with both cars finishing within the top 15 from a starting grid of 146 entrants.

Porsche factory driver Sven Müller ensured an early advantage for himself and team-mates Klaus Bachler, Martin Ragginger and Dirk Werner, with an astounding top-30 qualifying time of just 8:09.522 minutes in the Falken Porsche 911 GT3 R to take second place on the grid.

The Falken BMW M6 GT3, piloted by drivers Peter Dumbreck, Stef Dusseldorp, Alexandre Imperatori and Jens Klingmann, achieved a qualifying time of 8:13.963 and started from 21st place.

The first few hours saw the Falken Porsche within striking distance of the top spot until the weather conditions took a turn for the worst in the early hours. Heavy rain created extremely slippery track conditions, preventing both vehicles from performing to the best of their abilities around the notorious Nürburgring Nordschleife.

Track conditions continued to deteriorate as the morning went on, as parts of the track dried while others remained waterlogged. Just hours before the end of the race, competition was put on hold for 90 minutes due to heavy fog.

The final result saw both Falken vehicles finish within the top 15. Final driver Müller made it to ninth place with the Falken Porsche 911 GT3 R, while Dumbreck achieved 15th place with the Falken BMW M6 GT3. Away from the track, main sponsor Falken entertained the crowds with a drift show and drift taxi rides.

Falken - 2018 Nurburgring 24 Hours - BMW M6 GT3

Falken celebrates its 20th motorsport season on the Nordschleife

New driver line-up supports Falken’s two-car assault on VLN and Nürburgring 24 Hours 

2018 marks Falken Tyre’s 20th motorsport season contesting on the gruelling Nürburgring Nordschleife. Yet again, the Falken Motorsports team will battle it out on the notoriously challenging German circuit in the VLN Endurance Championship and world-famous ADAC Zurich 24-Hour Race, competing with a new driver line-up for 2018 and two GT3 cars, the Porsche 911 GT3 and BMW M6 GT3.

“2017 was the most successful motorsports season for Falken yet,” says Markus Bögner, COO at Falken Tyre Europe GmbH. “Our victory at the fourth VLN race, as well as the achievement of additional podium positions, are the result of strong team performance and the continuous tyre development carried out by our engineers. We will again run our pair of GT3 cars in 2018.”

Falken has competed at the Nürburgring with various Porsche models since 2011, claiming a podium finish at the 2015 edition of the ADAC Zurich 24-Hour Race. Falken’s current Type 991 model from the Zuffenhausen-based manufacturer has a 4.0-litre flat-six engine, producing 500hp, and is shod with 300/660R18 Falken tyres on the front axle and 330/710R18 on the rear.

Behind the wheel this season will be Falken factory drivers Martin Ragginger (AUT) and Klaus Bachler (AUT), who will be joined by Porsche factor drivers Dirk Werner (GER) and Sven Müller (GER). New to the Falken Motosports line-up, Müller has been competing in motorsport since 2004 and was crowned champion of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup and the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany in 2016

Following its successful debut in 2017, where it secured ninth overall in the 24-hour race, the BMW M6 GT3 will again be piloted by Falken drivers Peter Dumbreck (UK) and Alexandre Imperatori (SUI). The Falken duo will be supported by Stef Dusseldorp (NED) and Jens Klingmann (GER). Team newcomer Klingmann is a BMW Motorsport works driver who has competed in the ADAC GT Masters and IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship, claiming second at Petit Le Mans and fourth in the GTLM class at the Rolex 24 and Sebring in 2015.

The BMW M6 GT3 is powered by a 4.4-litre V8 twin-turbo engine with up to 585hp and will be equipped with 330/710R18 Falken tyres. Both the BMW M6 GT3 and the Porsche 911 GT3 will be swathed in Falken’s iconic teal and blue livery.

The team’s first outing is the opening round of the VLN, which takes place on 24 March 2018, with the season highlight ADAC Zurich 24-Hour Race taking place on 10-13 May 2018.

Falken to compete at Nürburgring in unique fan liveries

Team Falken will compete in the season finale of the VLN Endurance Championship at the Nürburgring on 21 October in unique liveries designed by the brand’s fans. The winning designs for the Team Falken Porsche and Team Falken BMW were selected from a shortlist of entries by Falken’s Facebook community.

The Design Challenge concluded the ‘battles’ between Team Falken Porsche and Team Falken BMW, which began in March and reached its climax at the Nürburgring 24 Hours when the BMW M6 GT3 finished the notorious endurance race in the top ten.

“The Design Challenge entries were all extremely professional and created with genuine passion,” says Stephan Cimbal, Head of Marketing, Falken Tyre Europe. “We were delighted with the designs and are really looking forward to sending the cars out onto the track in the winning looks.”

The Falken Porsche 911 GT3 will feature a design by Dirk Hinzmann that combines the track curves of the legendary Nordschleife with Falken’s iconic teal and blue colours. Meanwhile, Saunas Ramoska created the design for the Falken BMW M6 GT3, which is a collage of graphic elements from Falken’s ‘brand toolbox’ that illustrates the brand’s dynamism, agility and power. Both of the winning designers will attend the race weekend as Falken VIP guests to watch the cars bearing their liveries in action.

Ilott delivers a trio of top four finishes at the Nürburgring

Consistency delivers the points needed to challenge for a top three place in the championship

With a third place topping a trio of top four places at the Nürburgring this weekend, Callum Ilott closed the gap to third overall in the 2017 FIA F3 championship battle. At a track where the whole PREMA Powerteam struggled to match the pace of its rivals in both the wet and dry, Ilott was the best-scoring driver in the team; amassing 39 points whilst his three team mates all combined, managed just 12. Crucially, Ilott sliced 32 points from the gap to third place in the championship and is now just five points and within striking distance of rival Joel Eriksson.

Friday’s qualifying, held in archetypal and changeable Eifel conditions saw the British driver encounter a mystifying mix of pace over the lap and an unusual mechanical issue when his gearbox slipped into neutral. The quick-thinking Ilott managed to get the car going again and found clear track space to go on to be the quickest driver in the second and third sectors of the track. This contrasted with being over a second slower in the first sector of the lap to leave Ilott third on the grid.

The opening encounter on Saturday saw the action again take place in wet conditions. Ilott made a better start to get up into second but was immediately under pressure as he initially struggled with grip relative to the others around.  Jake Hughes enjoying a competitive weekend, was able to move past and then Joey Mawson slipped past on lap five. Undaunted, Ilott fought hard to claw back the gap and mount a challenge. After a Full Course Yellow was thrown for an incident with Pedro Piquet, Ilott was able to attack the Australian before an attempt at the final chicane saw Ilott forced to dive down the escape road as Mawson also cut the chicane. On the penultimate lap, Ilott was back and challenging again and managed to edge ahead before being squeezed through the chicane. The pair emerged side by side but having lost momentum, Ilott was passed by fifth-placed Tadasuke Makino at the line. With Makino however penalised for an earlier infringement, Ilott was elevated to fourth in the official results.

Qualifying for Races Two and Three saw Ilott leave it right to the dying moments of the session to claim two front-row slots, including pole for Race Three.  Struggling for grip during most of the qualifying session Ilott was down in 19th position with a couple of minutes left on the clock.  With his Prema teammates also suffering badly, Ilott managed to find a way to deliver two good laps when it counted. “Many of us were left scratching our heads after qualifying with the times and positions of a number of drivers not where you would normally expect them to be,” says Ilott. “I was lucky that my last two laps came together as it was looking really bad for me up until then.”

It was cool but dry for the first race on Sunday morning. Air temperatures hovered just above 11 degrees as Ilott made a good getaway to attack pole sitter Jake Hughes on the run down to Turn One. Ilott, like his team mates, once again suffered an early lack of grip that led to him running wide at the end of lap two and into clutches of Lando Norris. Powerless to prevent him from getting past, Ilott was down to third position. With the tyres deteriorating after just two laps of competition, Ilott focussed on holding on to the podium place and drove skilfully to maintain a buffer to Honda protégé Makino. “Having such severe tyre wear, so early on in the race, meant that was one of the hardest races this season,” says Ilott. “We just lacked the pace to fight for the win this time yet we did manage to grab 15 points at a time when we really needed them. That was really important when we didn’t have the speed.”

Sunday’s final encounter underlined the difficulties faced throughout the entire weekend. Ilott again made a good getaway from pole but an early safety car meant Ilott had rivals Norris and Hughes right behind. Ilott made a good restart but again was beset by an early lack of grip that was needed to pull away. Norris was able to take advantage of extended track limits by running completely off the track at Turn Four to get past and then with no answer to the traction of the Hitech cars out of the corners, both Hughes and his team-mate Ralf Aron also passed Ilott. Nursing his frustration, Ilott then managed the situation over Jehan Daruvala, pushing when he could to hold onto fourth in what became a quiet race for the young British driver.

“This weekend in either the wet or dry, we just couldn’t compete on pace and it was all about playing the consistency game and getting as many points as possible,” adds Ilott. “Despite some frustration from the races, I’m now just five points from third and I have taken 33 points off the gap to second and we still have six races to go. I’m still fighting!”

The championship now heads to the Red Bull Ring in two weeks’ time, a track where Ilott scored a win, second and fourth last year.

FALKEN achieves historic victory at the Nürburgring

FALKEN has achieved a historic first ever victory in the fourth round of this year’s VLN long-distance championship, with drivers Stef Dusseldorp and Jörg Müller in its BMW M6 GT3. The race was also rounded off with success as the Frikadelli Racing Team, who were also running FALKEN tyres, finished fourth.

In qualifying both FALKEN’s Porsche and BMW showed speed to put in a good performance. The BMW, just won the internal team battle with a lap time of 8:04.121 securing second place on the starting grid. FALKEN’s Porsche driven by Klaus Bachler and Robert Renauer were close behind, securing fourth on the grid with a time of 8.05.093. This was FALKEN’s best qualification since the BMW was added to its race roster earlier this year. The Porsche 911 GT3 R of the Frikadelli Racing Team also put in a good performance ending up eighth on the grid.

It became an eventful race right from the off. Müller in the BMW was quick to take the lead in the race, successfully putting distance between FALKEN and its nearest rivals. The Porsche, whilst close behind, became involved in an incident requiring a visit the pits. The Porsche was repaired quickly, but lost valuable time and was now a lap down. Bachler and Renauer in the Porsche worked hard and at the end of the four hour race were able to recover and finish in 14th.

At the front, everything went according to plan. Dusseldorp and Müller took their stints with confidence and were the fastest car in the field over much of the race. After 28 laps, the BMW crossed the finish line with a commanding 34.5 second lead over its nearest rival. This gave Team FALKEN its first-ever overall victory at the Nordschleife.

“We are ecstatic,” said Markus Bögner, COO at Falken Tyre Europe GmbH. “Since 1999, we have participated in races at the Nordschleife achieving many successes, but with outright victory having been elusive until now. Today we deserved our reward and it is down to the unfaltering commitment of our drivers, the team and our engineers in Japan who have developed an extremely competitive tyre.”

“What a debut,” said Jörg Müller. “I could push right from the start. The tyres came up to temperature immediately and had maximum grip. I am glad to have won here. FALKEN did a great job.”

FALKEN achieves top 10 finish at the Nürburgring 24 hours

Tyre manufacturer FALKEN achieved eighth place overall at the 45th ADAC Zurich Nürburgring 24h race with its new BMW M6 GT3. FALKEN’s car, competing at the enduro for the first time in the company’s iconic colours, was the third-best BMW home in an arduous event that witnessed plenty of drama. That included a collision on Saturday evening that led to the retirement of FALKEN’s Porsche 911 GT3 completing just 26 laps.

The internal battle between the two FALKEN cars was intense during qualifying. The Porsche with drivers Martin Ragginger, Jörg Bergmeister, Dirk Werner and Laurens Vanthoor started in 25th position, with the BMW of Peter Dumbreck, Alexandre Imperatori, Stef Dusseldorp and Marco Seefried dropping from a close 27th to 37th after a pre-race penalty.

Both crews made dream starts in the unseasonable high temperatures in the region. While other teams struggled to achieve maximum performance from their tyres in the heat, both FALKEN shod cars were able to complete the first stint with minimal issues and made excellent headway though the field.

In the early stages, the 911 GT3 R was the fastest Porsche on track, swiftly breaking into the top 10 after only a few laps. However, this success was unfortunately short-lived as it was hit by another vehicle four hours into the race, suffering irreparable damage.

Performing consistently, the M6 GT3 showed excellent performance on its FALKEN rubber through the heat witnessed on Saturday and in the cooler hours of the night as well as during the sudden rain fall as the race reached its conclusion.

“We are delighted that under these extreme conditions, we were able to show the wide-ranging performance capability of our tyres,” commented Markus Bögner, COO at Falken Tyre Europe GmbH. “We would like to thank the motorsports team and our BMW and Porsche partners, as well as the drivers who mastered our first double entry in the 24h race.”

More than 600 customers and journalists from all around Europe visited FALKEN at the Nürburgring, experiencing an exciting weekend at the legendary track.

FALKEN was once again one of the main sponsors of the 24-hour race. In addition to the race, FALKEN provided fans with spades of entertainment away from it including the FALKEN Drift Show that acted as the perfect warm up for the main race.

“We have also strongly activated our commitment to the media. With three film crews, a helicopter, several photographers and our social media teams, we have generated unique content that we have spread across our diverse channels worldwide,” said Stephan Cimbal, head of marketing at Falken Tyre Europe GmbH. “FALKEN stands for excitement and high technology – and we have demonstrated this over the past four days.”

We are delighted to be working with Callum Ilott

At 12, he secured his first British national karting championship and just one year later Callum dominated the international under 15s KFJ category with multiple championship successes and was nominated as the youngest ever WSK Driver of the Year in 2012. Callum moved up to the Seniors category and at 15 won the CIK-FIA European Karting Championship, the WSK Super Master Series and finished fourth in the CIK-FIA World Championship. 

FIA Formula 3 European Championship

Aged 16, Callum was Red Bull’s first ever driver to progress from karts to F3 to race in the FIA F3 European Championship.  He finished 12th overall amongst a 34+ grid of experienced drivers, with a series of rookie trophies and a maiden podium at the Nürburgring. He will return this season with experienced Dutch team VAR.

 

Make it a ‘racy’ Christmas: Falken Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R for sale

Falken Logo New 1.png

Following much success in the past five years, Falken Motorsports is retiring its Falken Porsche 911 GT3 R (type 997). The iconic turquoise and blue race car is now up for sale on mobile.de, making a very special Christmas present for any race team.

The Falken team has been competing with the Porsche 911 GT3 R since 2010, with this particular chassis being used since April 2014. In that time its career highlight has been achieving a much-coveted podium finish in the 2015 ADAC Zurich 24 Hour Race at the Nürburgring, Germany. Falken drivers Wolf Henzler, Peter Dumbreck, Martin Ragginger and Alexandre Imperatori battled against tough competition for third place, a further improvement on its impressive top four finish the previous year.

As well as the notoriously challenging Nürburgring 24 Hours, the car has also competed in the VLN Endurance Racing Championship, honing its craft around the iconic German circuit where it has clocked up over 84 hours of race time since April 2014.

Falken Porsche

The race car has been shod with almost 900 tyres each season, with the slick, rain or intermediate Falken tyres lasting around eight laps of the acclaimed and demanding 25,378m Nürburgring circuit. Each track session acts as a tyre test, with Japanese tyre engineers present trackside to analyse data and obtain feedback from the drivers, with all of this information feeding back into the series production tyre development process.

Now for sale on mobile.de, the Falken Porsche will make one of its last appearances with Falken Tyre at the Essen Motor Show on 27 November to 4 December 2015.

Sensational one-two at Nürburgring for Strakka Racing

Strakka Podium

 

Ellinas heads home Malja for second win in as many weekends during dramatic rain-hit encounter in Germany

Silverstone-based Strakka Racing celebrated a memorable one-two finish, its first ever in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, during an incident-packed and highly dramatic 13th round of the season at the Nürburgring in Germany this afternoon.With light rain ahead of the start meaning a wet track was declared by officials, the majority of lead contenders still opted for slick tyres and the rain only became a factor during the incredibly tense final laps.

Starting the race fifth and sixth on slicks, drivers Tio Ellinas and Gustav Malja both had very high hopes of challenging for the podium. Nobody, though, could have predicted the superb one-two result – especially when Ellinas sustained damage to his front wing while battling for third place at the end of the first lap.Having to work hard to compensate for the lack of downforce, the Cypriot had to try and drive around the issue until his mandatory tyre change at the end of lap five when he pitted from third place, having been as high as second. Malja pitted from fifth position a lap later and the real turning point of the race for Strakka came shortly after when the Safety Car appeared following a spin for Aurelien Panis.

As the highest placed cars of those to have pitted in eighth and ninth, with Malja moving ahead of Ellinas through the stops, when racing resumed on lap 11 both Strakka drivers made excellent re-starts and instantly challenged Tom Dillmann.Through a nail-biting few corners Ellinas and Malja swarmed all over their rival and, after swiftly seeing off Dillmann, the pair continued their own private battle with Ellinas edging ahead.Running in fifth and sixth into lap 16, the team-mates had a waiting game until the lead quartet took their pit stops and that started to happen soon after.With only race leader Pietro Fantin still to pit with five laps to go, Ellinas and Malja held second and third and at the end of lap 18 Fantin dived into the pitlane.

Gustav Malja Strakka Nurburgring2015-1623

Assuming first and second, Ellinas and Malja looked set for a superb dream result for Strakka but the conclusion wasn’t as straightforward as anticipated when rain began to fall with a couple of laps to run.Initially holding a three second advantage over Malja, as the track became increasingly slippery and with grip at a premium the gap between the pair reduced to nothing.Nose-to-tail into the final tour, lap 22, a wicked twitch for Ellinas out of the second turn looked to have relegated him to second but he managed to regain the lead when Malja had some wheel spin – Ellinas taking his second victory just eight days after his first.

“It was a very long race”, said the winner, “I got a good start, tried to overtake for P3 [at the end of lap one] but had my front wing chopped and had a broken front wing until I pitted. I was hanging in there and then, at the stop, we changed the front wing.“I kept my head down and tried to go as quick as I could. I’m delighted for the win, the team did a really good job and we judged it well. I was trying dry lines at the end but when I could see Gustav closing, I knew I had to change my lines!”

Second place for Malja marked his best result yet in Formula Renault 3.5 and second podium of the year, as well as top Rookie, having climbed the rostrum for the first time in Hungary in June.“The final lap was the most intense of my career”, said the Swedish racer, “I made it past Tio in the Mercedes Arena [on the last lap] but then I had some wheel spin on the exit and he got back in front.“It’s an amazing result for myself and for the team – they made a fantastic pit stop and I think we all deserve this following all the hard work we’ve put in.”

Round 12 on Saturday, 12th September, didn’t go quite to plan for Strakka when Ellinas wasn’t able to convert his second place grid start into a podium result after being put wide on the first lap.Initially launching away well from the grid, Ellinas was edged back to fourth into the first corner and subsequently elbowed out wide, dropping him to sixth where he remained to the conclusion. Malja made a great getaway at the beginning of the race to climb into the top eight, from 10th on the grid, and just like his team-mate he ran in the same position throughout.

YMIV3624

In terms of the championship battle, Ellinas’ success has hoisted him into the top six, just 10 points shy of fourth position, with Malja into eighth place. In the team standings, Strakka Racing departs Germany in fourth position.

France is the next destination on the Formula Renault 3.5 Series calendar with rounds 14 and 15 of the season taking place at the Le Mans Bugatti Circuit over the weekend 26th/27th September.