Falken offered a solid team performance at the ADAC Zurich 24 Hours Nürburgring under the harshest weather conditions imaginable. Once again, the race proved to be a brutal beating for automotive materials in which both Falken vehicles finished among the top-15 competitors.
Sven Müller already provided for a first magical moment during qualifying: in the prestigious top-30 qualifying stage, the Porsche works driver completed the Nürburgring Nordschleife under optimal track conditions in just 8:09.522 minutes. With that, he secured himself and his team colleagues Klaus Bachler, Martin Ragginger and Dirk Werner an excellent second starting place.
The BMW quartet consisting of Peter Dumbreck, Stef Dusseldorp, Alexandre Imperatori and Jens Klingmann needed 8:13.963 minutes for the Nordschleife and started in 21st position.
As dusk fell and the evening progressed, the Falken Porsche continued to manoeuvre within striking distance of the leaders, until, at around two o’clock in the morning, the Eifel sky opened the flood gates. The hours that followed demanded the drivers’ entire expertise under extremely slippery track conditions. While some of the stretches repeatedly dried off, the asphalt of others remained waterlogged. Three-and-a-half hours before the 24-hour deadline, the race also had to be suspended for around one-and-a-half hours due to thick fog.
After 24 hours, both Falken vehicles completed the race among the top-15 finishers: closing driver, Sven Müller, finished in ninth place in the Falken Porsche 911 GT3 R, while Peter Dumbreck achieved fifteenth place in the Falken BMW M6 GT3.
In the SP3T, for turbocharged cars with 2.0-litre engine capacities or less, Falken managed the victory with a Subaru WRX STI NBR Challenge 2018 vehicle. The team started the race from pole position earned in qualifying, but experienced mechanical trouble in the early stage and trailed the competition.
However, the team technicians, including six mechanics chosen from Subaru dealers in Japan, addressed and solved the problem promptly and the car returned to the race.
The four drivers, Carlo van Dam (Netherlands), Tim Schrick (Germany), Hideki Yamauchi (Japan) and Takuto Iguchi (Japan), closed the gap and regained the top position around the 10th hour of the race.
With worsening weather conditions, the WRX STI’s Symmetrical AWD helped it pass some considerably more expensive competitors. Engine trouble just an hour before the finish forced the car back into the pit area, but it returned to the track thanks to great teamwork, finishing the race with a win in the SP3T class and took 62nd overall.
Action was also to be found off the race track where Falken – which served as one of the 24h Race’s principal sponsors – was offering fans diversity and great entertainment in the form of the Falken Drift Show and Drift Taxi rides. Falken grid girls not only captured the attention of fans and drivers on the starting grid, but also in the paddock where they repeatedly provided for “selfie alarms” and considerable attention.
Over 400 customers and journalists from every European market were Falken’s guests at the Nürburgring. They enjoyed a wide range of hospitalities offering an exhilarating weekend with motor sports made tangible.