Falken Tire has announced that they end their Tudor United Sportscar Championship program at the end of the 2015 season.
The Rancho Cucamonga, California based tire manufacturer announced that they will shift their focus to grassroots motorsport programs.
“While we’re concluding what’s been a very valuable and rewarding relationship with IMSA and TUSCC after this season, we look forward to following – and cheering on – the continued growth of American sports car racing under the expert guidance of IMSA President Scott Atherton and his entire accomplished team,” said Richard Smallwood, President and CEO, Falken Tire in a report to Modern Tire Dealer.
Since joining forces with Indianapolis-based Walker Racing in 2009, Team Falken Tire built up a reputation of being the little team that could, being one of a few privateer teams in the American Le Mans Series GT2 and TUDOR Championship’s GTLM classes with Bryan Sellers and Wolf Henzler driving.
The team scored their first win in the rain at Mid-Ohio in 2011 and followed it up with a win at Baltimore late in the season. They took GT2 honors at Baltimore again in 2012 and did the unthinkable in the 2013 Petit Le Mans.
After losing their primary car in a crash at the start of the 2013 Baltimore Grand Prix, the team soldiered to Road Atlanta with a year old car and held off a hard charging BMW Team-RLL entry to take the win in the final ALMS race.
They became the only customer team running the Porsche 919 RSR in the inaugural Tudor Championship in 2014 and took top honors again at Petit.
“This is difficult. It is leaving family. I don’t say that casually or as a figure of speech,” Sellers said. “Everyone at Falken Tire and Walker Racing has become my family over the last seven years.
“I am very grateful for the opportunity they presented to me in 2009 and I am excited to see this program through from start to finish.
“Over the course of my time as a Falken Tire driver, we have seen a great deal of success together.
“We have overcome a lot of obstacles and I think we proved a valuable resource to Falken, Porsche and the race organizers in that time.”
Derrick Walker, who doubles as the Vice President of Competition for IndyCar, has said that Walker Racing is still in business and is exploring sponsorship opportunities to stay in sportscar racing.
Image: Falken Tire