Offenbach, March 20th: Falken Motorsports’ Porsche 997 GT3 R is to receive a number of key updates ahead of its 2012 campaign. Factory sanctioned upgrades including a switch to paddle shift gearbox and softer front anti roll bar are being fitted together with an engine upgrade by crack Porsche team Schnabl Engineering as the Falken team mounts a serious attack on both the VLN Championship and flagship N24 race.
“The 2012 Porsche engine upgrade offers more power and better driveability,” says team principal Sven Schnabl. “Together with the paddle shift to help our drivers avoid miss-shifts, we have a stronger package that should challenge for podiums.”
In addition to the upgrades, Schnabl Engineering is refreshing and servicing the gearbox, uprights, driveshafts as well as replacing ‘lifed’ components such as fuel filters and pumps. As a car specifically designed for long distance reliability, Schnabl claims that further modifications for the headline 24 hour race in May are surprisingly minimal. “We will simply be fitting additional lights and the illuminated side panels,” claims Schnabl. “We don’t even need to lower the rev limit.”
The team will continue to use its own tyres, developed specifically for use on the Nordschleife, incorporating features to meet the specific requirements of an endurance race with exceptionally long laps. Examples include higher puncture resistance with the inevitable corner cutting and softer compounds for night time running.
Drivers for the 2012 campaign have yet to be confirmed but the 2011 Falken line up of Peter Dumbreck, Wolf Henzler, Martin Ragginger and Sebastian Asch is likely to feature during the season.
2011 was the first year that the Japanese tyre maker fielded a Porsche in Europe. After gearbox problems stymied the team’s hopes of a strong finish in last year’s round the clock race, the team returns confident that it will be competitive and reliable. “We have further tyre tests planned to refine the specifications and compounds to the 2012 chassis set up and softer front end,” adds Schnabl. “With a good Balance of Performance package and a good tyre from Falken, we are in a strong position.”
The first test for the VLN Series takes place on 24th March.
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