The FALKEN Motorsports Team has announced its team line up for the first VLN and Nürburgring 24 Hour races. Driving FALKEN’s new Porsche 997 GT3 R made it race debut the first weekend of April, the 58th ADAC Westfalenfahrt, will be Porsche factory driver Jörg Bergmeister and Peter Dumbreck. Dumbreck will also be at the 24 Hour race in June partnered with Porsche factory drivers Martin Ragginger and Wolf Henzler. Sebastian Asch completes the comprehensive line up for the tyre manufacturer’s team for Nordschleife event.
“We are using the first VLN race this weekend to optimise the tyre settings for the Norschleife and learn a little more about the car. Everything needs to be perfect for the 24-hour race," says FALKEN’s marketing director, Satoru Ushida. “The entire team is going into the weekend with a great deal of anticipation but we are very much looking forward to the Green Hell."
FALKEN has assembled a highly experienced team for the assault, blending knowledge of the car, tyres and circuit for the 24 Hour race in June. Two Porsche factory drivers, Wolf Henzler, Martin Ragginger are joined by Sebastian Asch and current GT1 and long time FALKEN driver Peter Dumbreck.
Drivers for subsequent VLN rounds will be announced by FALKEN later in the year.
About the drivers:
Wolf Henzler, born in Kirchheim unter Teck in 1975, has been a Porsche works driver since 2008 and currently drives with Jörg Bergmeister in the ALMS and various VLN races. In 2010, Wolf Henzler won the 24 hours of Spa in the GT2 class, driving with Martin Ragginger, Jörg Bergmeister and Romain Dumas. Previously, Wolf Henzler was the overall winner of the GT2 class in the ALMS in a Porsche 997 GT3 RSR (2008) and won the 12 hours of Sebring in the GT2 class in the same year. In 2005, Wolf Henzler secured the 24 hours of Daytona in the GT class, the year after he became the champion in the Porsche Supercup. Wolf Henzler is also a driver in the FALKEN Motorsports Team in the USA.
Peter Dumbreck, from Britain, is a long standing member of the FALKEN team having been a key member of the team since 2007. Dumbreck began his motorsport career in 1986 in karting. In 1996, he claimed the British Vauxhall Lotus Series. In F3, Dumbreck scooped the prestigious Macau Grand Prix before moving on to factory Mercedes and Opel drives in the DTM. Dumbreck has subsequently competed in the Japanese GT Series, Le Mans Series and this year is driving in the GT1 World Championship in a Nissan GTR.
Martin Ragginger started in karting in Italy and was quickly accepted into the Red Bull Junior Team. Between 2000 and 2004, the Senna fan continued to kart resulting in second places in the DMV Championship, as well as in the Formula ICA in Germany. In 2004, as a 16-year-old, Ragginger finished his karting career with a third place in the German Formula A; the highest karting class and started in Formula BMW where he achieved two wins and four podium places. Since 2007, Ragginger has been part of the UPS Porsche Junior Team, training as a factory driver. In 2010, together with Jörg Bergmeister, Wolf Henzler and Romain Dumas, the 23-year-old won the GT2 class at the Spa 24-hour and was honoured by the FIA as “Talent of the Year”. Martin Ragginger also co-drives with Wolf Henzler in Team FALKEN Motorsports USA.
The names Asch and Porsche are inseparably linked. Roland Asch, Sebastian Asch’s father, is Europe’s most successful Porsche Cup driver. In 20 years, Roland Asch won 30 races in the 944 Turbo and four championship titles. Accordingly, there are high expectations for the 24-year-old. After training years in Ford Fiesta SA and Leon Supercopa, the motor vehicle technology student is now moving up to the Porsche. In spite of his comparably short motorsport career, Sebastian Asch has already driven in the 24-hour race in 2007 and 2008. In 2011, Sebastian Asch is competing in the ADAC GT Masters in a Porsche 911 GT3 R.
The experienced Porsche works driver (since 2002) was also inspired by his father (Willi Bergmeister). After several seasons in single seaters (Formula König, Formula Renault and Formula Opel), Bergmeister has been driving Porsches starting with the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany and latterly the Porsche Pirelli Supercup and American Le Mans Series. In addition to first places in the GT/GT2 Class of the ALMS (2005, 2006, 2008, 2010), Bergmeister became a three time winner of the 24 hours of Daytona in the GT class (2002, 2003 and 2009) and in 2004, he won the 24-hour Le Mans race. Last year, he became the overall winner of the 24-hour race in Spa together with Wolf Henzler and Martin Ragginger. Jörg Bergmeister is supporting the FALKEN Motorsports Team as a Porsche works driver in the first VLN race.