Flying Lizard chief engineer Craig Watkins to retire

Flying Lizard announced today that chief engineer Craig Watkins is retiring from the team. "It's been an amazing run with the Lizards in GT racing," said Watkins. "It's hard to believe it's been almost ten years and more than 100 races! Now it's time to take a break and I'm looking forward to spending more with my family. I know I can't leave racing completely, so look for me at Porsche club races here on the west coast."

#44 Flying Lizard Motorsports: Seth Neiman, Marco Holzer
#44 Flying Lizard Motorsports: Seth Neiman, Marco Holzer

Photo by: Richard Sloop

Considered one of the top Porsche race engineers in the world, Watkins has been chief engineer at Flying Lizard since 2003 and helped form their first professional season in 2004. "I want to thank the Lizards, especially Seth [Neiman], for your incredible support, encouragement and friendship over the years. You've given me me the tools all along the way to help me succeed. And working with Roland Kussmaul at Porsche has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: he's taught me so much about how to get the most out of a Porsche on-track and how to approach a complex setup cycle patiently and consistently."

Team principal Seth Neiman added, "Craig has been an integral part of the program since before we were even a fully formed team. His knowledge of how to make Porsches fast and drivable is truly unique and has helped us win five ALMS GT championships over the last nine seasons. Besides being a talented engineer, he's also a true friend and we'll miss him in 2013 and beyond."

From his family's first Porsche (1958 356A) to his first racecar (a highly modified 1958 VW beetle) to his own first Porsche (1973 911T), Watkins has been engineering and racing cars since he was a teenager. He began off-road racing in 1976 and competed in a Class10 car in the SCORE series from 1983 to 1990. Racing with Greg Aronson, Watkins won nearly every major off-road race including the Parker Dam 400, the Baja 1000 and the Frontier 500; he won the SCORE points championship in 1987. In the early 90's Watkins began racing in local Porsche club events, where he met driver Johannes van Overbeek who would introduce him to World Challenge GT racing and the Lizards. Watkins has been Flying Lizard chief engineer since its inception in 2003.

Flying Lizard Motorsports/

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Series ALMS
Article type Breaking news
Tags alms, flying lizard, lizards, porsche, watkins