Ten years on from debuting a sole Porsche 997 GT3 R on the Nordschleife, Falken will field a brace of the latest generation 911 GT3 R in the Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS) and iconic 24 Hour race in 2021. The Falken Motorsports team will continue to be run this year by Schnabl Engineering, the Butzbach-based specialist that has supported the tyre manufacturer since 2011.
“Falken is delighted to confirm its intention to return to motorsport in 2021,” said Falken Tyre Europe Motorsports Manager Stefanie Olbertz. “2020 was a very difficult time for fans, the NLS series and motorsport industry as a whole, and we hope that this year, by fielding two cars, we can entertain the enthusiasts (and) marshals and support the sector that has been hit so hard. The NLS did an incredible job to ensure that we could race at all in 2020 and we want to thank the organisers for putting in place procedures that enable the sport to continue.”
With strong fan engagement and both cars running smoothly to the finish at last year’s 24 Hour race, Falken was focussed on returning with the 911. “Our relationship with Porsche remains strong, with excellent support trackside. Our fans have grown very fond of the teal and blue 911 since we raced our first one in Europe in 2011,” added Olbertz. “It was therefore a natural choice to continue with Porsche and Schnabl this season.”
After the disruption of 2020, Falken intends to enter both 911 in seven rounds of the NLS series, with both cars taking part in all the races that precede the 24 Hour race, scheduled for the 3rd-6th June, starting with the ADAC Westfalenfahrt on the 27th March.
One change to the team’s preparations compared to previous seasons is the decision to test solely on the Nordschleife as opposed to its traditional roll out at Portimao. “Given the current situation, it makes most sense to stay in Germany and we will be present with both cars at the NLS official test on the 20th March,” concluded Olbertz.
Falken is also expanding its motorsport commitment and will be the new Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS) sponsor for the 2021 season. The agreement sees the tyre brand secure prominent logo placement on the front guards of all competing race cars in the series. In addition, there will be significant trackside signage on the start/finish straight and winners’ podium, as well as branding on the official NLS homepage with further promotional opportunities planned.
Nine races have been planned for this season’s racing calendar of the world’s largest motorsport championship held on the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
Falken has been a long-term entrant in the NLS (previously known as the VLN) series as well as the 24H-races since 1999, competing in a range of cars, most recently with two identical Porsche vehicles, which are scheduled to return in 2021.
“For more than 20 years, Falken has embraced the tough competition synonymous with the Nürburgring Nordschleife, both with its own team as well as a partner of the Nürburgring Endurance Series and has displayed a strong commitment to the motorsport home,” says Christian Stephani, managing director VLN VV GmbH & Co. KG. “Especially in these times, a new sponsorship commitment is anything but a matter of course. It is only through strong partners like Falken that we are able to consistently develop the Nürburgring Endurance Series and ensure it thrives in the future.”
Dennis Wilstermann, Marketing Supervisor Falken Tyre Europe, said “the myth” of the Nordschleife has always held a great attraction for the company. For a long time now, we have enjoyed working together with the Nürburgring as a trusted and successful partner. Put simply, there is no better track to demonstrate the performance of our tyres than the Nordschleife.”