In July of 2013, Bryan Sellers was able to make a childhood dream a reality. He won at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) taking top-honors in the track's Sports Car Challenge race. However, the Braselton, Georgia-resident, who grew up just hours away in Centerville, Ohio, is eager to place his name on trophy for the top sportscar race at world famous facility, the Brickyard Grand Prix. Sellers and teammate Wolf Henzler (Germany) will challenge for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship's GT Le Mans class victory in the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR on Friday evening, July 25.
"I am beyond excited to race at Indy in the Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR," stated Sellers. "Getting to race and win here last year with Fall-Line Motorsports in the support race was an amazing experience. However, as a racecar driver, you always want to be on the biggest stage and in the most intense environment. This week I have the chance to do that in the most competitive GT class in the world on the most famous racetrack in motorsports in the best Porsche 911 ever created in the top event. It is a huge honor to just be here in this position. I am eager to get on track and put on the best show we can for the fans."
Sellers chased his dreams of an Indianapolis 500 victory from his first kart race at the age 11. He won multiple open-wheel championships and tested ChampCar open wheel machines. Sellers moved to sportscar racing in 2005 and became a Team Falken Tire factory driver in 2009. His win last year in the Brickyard Grand Prix's support event fueled the fire to return and fight for top-honors on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class. With the world's most competitive GT racing class now eligible to compete at Indianapolis, by virtue of the formation of IMSA's TUDOR Championship, Sellers now has the opportunity.
"I think every win stands out because victories can be so few and far between," Sellers continued. "However, there are always some that stand out more than others and Indy will always be one of those for me. Standing on the high-rise podium and looking down has been one of the greatest moments of my professional career. It's a feeling that you want to re-create weekend after weekend. I am so honored to be able to have that on my resume, as it is something that can never be taken away. The flavor of the bricks is something I think I will always be able taste."
The Indianapolis road course underwent major modifications in the last year removing some of Sellers' "inside knowledge". However, expectations of success for the two-hour, 45-minute "sprint" race were increased when the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche, the only customer team-owned Porsche 911 RSR competing in the TUDOR watch-backed series, qualified third and raced near the front for much of the most recent round of the season. Falken Tire brought a new Azenis racing slick to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) for that race and the gains proved to be a significant breakthrough. The new tire provided the longtime driving duo predictable and consistent handling over the course of a race stint increasing their competitiveness against the field of factory teams.
"I think it is simple to keep the momentum really," added Sellers. "The execution needs to be a little better. We had the speed in Mosport [Canadian Tire Motorsport Park] but I had a slight bobble that put us a little behind in my stint and with the lack of yellows we couldn't recover. The GTLM class is just too close to have even the smallest hiccup. Indy will be different. We will execute at a high level, and if we have the speed, we will get a result."
The week between the Canadian round and the Indianapolis stop has had special significance to Sellers. The Ohio-native and his wife Jamie announced they are expecting their first child in November.
"Everybody in motorsports are more than friends, they are family," concluded Sellers. "I was excited to be able to share that Jamie was pregnant. I am so excited to take on this next portion our lives. One thing I know for sure is there will be no shortage of people I can turn to for help!"
The Brickyard Grand Prix can be seen live on FOX Sports 1 at 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time, July 25. The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will carry the race live on its network of stations. Friday's race will also have live timing and scoring available at IMSA.com. Streaming of the qualifying show is available on the IMSA web site beginning at 4:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 24.