For no particular reason other than photos of the Falken Porsche from the 2014 Nurburgring 24 hours apparently have the ability to catch one’s attention when poking through the archives, a brief look back in time is warranted. The Falken 997 Porsche is known as a regular and fan-favorite competitor in the Nurburgring 24 hours. Falken always has a distinctive paint scheme and does a ton of on-site marketing support. As you might have seen on this blog or elsewhere, the 997 car was recently put up for sale after a long and successful run as the team will running a new 991 platform for 2016.
In 2014, the Falken Porsche was piloted by a four-man squad of Wolf Henzler, Peter Dumbreck, Martin Ragginger, and Alexandre Imperatore. All of these drivers are extremely skilled and experienced which put the car in good hands. The car qualified 20th overall with a time of 8:19.761 – shockingly 9 seconds off the pole time of Kevin Estre in the Dorr Motorsports McLaren. In fairness, Estre’s lap in the McLaren was several seconds faster than any other car. Most cars were in the 8:13 or 8:14 range. Regardless, the time for the Falken Porsche likely shows more about the team’s endurance mindset than anything about raw speed.
When the checkered flag flew, the car claimed a fourth place overall – two laps off the leader. The finish was the team’s best overall finish to date and resulted from running a clean and consistent race. The 2014 Nurburgring 24 hours had relatively good weather which meant a dry and fast race pace. The team moved into the top 5 after 8 hours of running before moving into fourth about 90 minutes before the finish.
Leading up to the 2015 race, Dailysportscar.com published an interview with team principal Sven Schnabl. His planning paid off as the team claimed its first podium in 2015 with the same impressive driver line-up.
Enjoy the pics and best of luck to the Falken Porsche team in 2016!