Lizards Return to East Coast for First Run at Baltimore Street Course
August 31, 2011 – Baltimore, Maryland – The Lizards return to the East Coast this week for the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix, to be held Saturday, Sept 3. The two-mile, 12-turn temporary street circuit weaves through the heart of downtown Baltimore, circling the scenic Inner Harbor and Camden Yards. It's the first race on this circuit and the first Baltimore- based event for the American Le Mans Series. The Lizard driver lineup this weekend is Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Long in the No. 45 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR and Seth Neiman and Darren Law in the No. 44.
Heading into the seventh race of the 9-event ALMS season, Bergmeister and Long are sixth in the GT drivers' championship with 51 points; Joey Hand and Dirk Mueller of the No. 56 BMW lead with 108 points. Flying Lizard is fourth in the GT team championships, tied with Team Falken Tire. 75 possible points remain: 20 at Baltimore, 25 at Laguna Seca and 30 at Petit Le Mans.
Lizard chief engineer Craig Watkins discussed the challenges of setting up a racecar for a new circuit: "There are many unknowns that we'll have to sort out quickly. First, we'll assess the coarseness of the track and see how much mechanical grip it creates so we can make the right tire compound choices. Then we'll focus on setting up the Porsches for what promises to be a complicated circuit. It's not a high speed track, but the combination of relatively short straights, hard braking zones and big direction changes (both 90 and 180 degree turns) will put a high demand on the brakes. The 911s can perform very well in this type of environment, so we may see the Porsches do well here and gain some advantage under braking."