Flying Lizard Motorsports press release
Lizards 8th and 11th at Inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix
September 3, 2011 – Baltimore, Maryland – The Baltimore Grand Prix took a bite out of the Lizards tonight, with the No. 44 finishing eighth in GT and the No. 45 eleventh. Both Lizard Porsches started the two-hour race from the back of the grid. On the first lap, half of the GT field bunched up in the 90 degree Turn 1, coming to a complete halt. In the No. 44, Darren Law was caught up in the incident. He explained, "I knew the start would be tight because I was at the back of the pack. After the green, I came into Turn 1 and it was a parking lot. I hit the brakes, but had nowhere to go. I locked up and slid hard into the car in front of me; we were all stopped for several seconds. I knew there was damage, but didn't know how much. I called in that I had smashed up the front. Over the next lap, I kept my eye on the temperature and things looked OK so I stayed out."
In the No. 45, Patrick Long had started last on the grid in P13. This put him in a position to take advantage of the blockade and he shot by, moving up to P7 on the first lap. But disaster struck soon afterwards. Long said, "I had such a great start. I was P7 and just biding my time, letting the traffic work its way out. The car was solid and fast. I was talking to the guys on the radio when suddenly I knew I had a big problem. I was just past the pits at that point so I had to go slowly for a full circuit before I could get back in." In the pits, the crew replaced the rear drive shaft and the left rear upright. The lengthy repair pushed Patrick far back in the field: more than 15 laps down on the GT leader.
Long continued, "Once I got back on track, I was really happy with the car setup but I was so far back that there wasn't much I could do with only 90 minutes left in the race. It was fun to run in tandem with the 44: they did a great job today. That's the thing about racing there are so many things out of your control: we had the car today, but not the luck."
While the No. 45 was under repair, Law continued to push in the No. 44. By the 30-minute mark, the No. 45 was running again, now in P11, and Law had moved up to P7. Law added, "After the rocky start, I pushed really hard through the whole stint. I was happy with the changes that our engineer Steve Conover had made today; the car was handling well. At the end, the timing of the yellow was perfect: I pitted and Seth took over at the halfway point."
Neiman said, "The guys gave us a great car. They worked all the way up to race start to get the car ready and it was really fun to drive. We lost some time when I had to stop again after the driver change for the crew to fix the hood damage from the incident early in the race, but I was able to keep position over the last half to finish eighth."
Joerg Bergmeister finished out the race in the No. 45 in an uneventful stint to finish eleventh in class. The No. 17 Falken Porsche, which had taken the lead early in the race, won in GT.
Neiman added, "What an exciting event: I'm looking forward to bringing the team back here again next year. There was a huge crowd and a ton of Lizard fans. It was a fun, and pretty crazy racetrack. Hats off to the flaggers: the race was complicated they did a great job keeping us informed and safe on track. And I want to thank the whole team - once again they did an excellent job under some difficult circumstances."