In golf it is called a mulligan. In computer-speak it is a reboot. In racing it is just the next event. Any way you look at it, Bryan Sellers is eager to get to round two of the 2013 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSCC) season to regroup and start the team’s title assault anew. Following a disappointing season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway in January, the Braselton, Ga.-resident and co-driver Mark Boden (Winnetka, Ill.) bring the No. 46 Trim-Tex Drywall Products/Fall-Line BMW M3 to the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas to restart their season. Success in the GRAND-AM 200 on March 2 will help put their GS-class championship aspirations back on-track.
“Daytona was a very tough event. We were so strong leading up to the race and to have it end short like it did was tough,” stated Sellers. “Fall-Line is a good team and we are all driven for success so rebooting the season as it were will be easy. You have to put it behind you and focus on the future and Austin is a great place to do that. This track is the future.”
Sellers, who has spent most of his sports car racing career as a factory driver for teams such as Panoz and in his current role as a Team Falken Tire works driver, is in his second full season with Fall-Line Motorsports.
“It’s always much easier to have to just learn one thing,” Sellers stated. “It is very difficult to learn a car and a track at the same time so my familiarity with the Trim-Tex/Fall-Line M3 will be a big help.”
The former open-wheel champion teamed with Boden last year closing the season with two-consecutive top-three finishes. That momentum carried through testing, practice and qualifying at Daytona to open 2013 but the pairing would settle for 29th in class after contact on the track. With ten events of the 11-race season remaining, the opportunity is still there for the Trim-Tex/Fall-Line group to move up in the standings. However, with a poor result to open the year, the No. 46 has left little room for additional stumbles. That reality makes the COTA race debut even more important.
“Going to new tracks is a luxury that we don’t often have anymore. It is one of my favorite things to go to a track and learn it but so many of our races are held at the same venues year after year,” Sellers continued. “You have to try and associate yourself with a new track as much as possible by watching video and looking at track maps. However, nothing really can prepare you like just getting there and driving. There are always small nuances that you miss from watching video that you have to pick up when you get there.”
COTA is considered the premier new race facility in North America, perhaps the world. The 3.4-mile, 20-turn track boasts significant elevation change and a mixture of high-speed and low-speed technical corners as well as several long straightaways. Fall-Line Motorsports’ multi-car operation tested at COTA in late 2012 but Sellers missed the test due to other responsibilities. Therefore, when practice gets underway for the two-hour, 30-minute race it will be the first time the Ohio-native will have turned a wheel at the Texas track.
“Lack of track time and knowledge of the circuit will be the hardest thing for us. It will be a learning process on all fronts from engineering to driving,” stated a concerned Bryan Sellers. “The team has tested here and that should help flatten the learning curve for me. We will have to learn as the weekend goes and be prepared as possible by the time the race comes around.”
While the lack of track time could be considered a disadvantage for some, Sellers’ experience and expert knowledge of car dynamics allows him to make quick work of learning new tracks. Furthermore, he has done considerable research and study of the circuit to prepare as CTSCC track time is limited race week.
“I am really looking forward to racing at COTA! The track looks like a fantastic place. They very clearly spared no expense and pulled out all of the stops to make it something special,” commented Sellers. “The length of the track will absolutely space the field out and, hopefully, allow both classes to have their own races without to much involvement from the other.”
Timing and scoring of all sessions can be found at www.GRAND-AM.com beginning with the first CTSCC practice on Friday, March 1 at 8:45 a.m. (Central Time). The race itself is scheduled to take the green flag at 10:10 a.m. local time on March 2. The GRAND-AM 200 will be broadcast live on www.SPEED2.com with a television broadcast on SPEED, March 9 at 4 p.m. ET.
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