No. 44 8th and No. 45 12th at Mosport; Another Tough Break for Bergmeister and Long
The Lizards' streak of bad luck continued at Mosport today when a mechanical issue took the No. 45 out of contention for the GT win at the one-hour mark. The No. 44 fared better, finishing eighth in class in the 2-hour and 45 minute race. The No. 4 Corvette won in GT.
Starting third on the grid, Bergmeister overtook the No. 55 BMW at the start, moving into second place, with the No. 56 BMW in the lead. Over the next 35 minutes, Bergmeister successfully held off the No. 55 and maintained P2. The first yellow flag of the race sent most of the GT leaders into the pits, including the No. 45 and the No. 56 BMW, which was still in the lead. After a lightning-fast pit stop for tires and fuel, Joerg made it out of the pits ahead of the rest of the GT pack to take the lead.
20 minutes later, Bergmeister was leading a group of GT cars through traffic when a prototype braked hard ahead of him: "I was approaching Turn 10 and the prototype braked hard and I had nowhere to go. I tried to avoid him but the car locked up and I spun." Although he was able to avoid major contact, the spin pushed him back to fifth, with the No. 55 BMW now in the lead, the No. 4 Corvette in P2 and the No. 62 Risi Ferrari in P3.
As Bergmeister was settling in again, with 90 minutes left to go in the race, the No. 45 suddenly lost power steering, forcing him to pit. The crew was able to make repairs in pit lane, but the time in the pits set the No. 45 far back in the field. With Patrick Long now behind the wheel, the No. 45 was now P14 and seven laps down on the GT leader. Over the next hour, Long was able to move to P12, but there was just too much ground to regain to be able to score points for the No. 45. They finished twelfth in class. Bergmeister added, "It was so frustrating to have a good car and such fast pit stops but then not be able to take advantage of it on the track."
Meanwhile, in the No. 44, Seth Neiman started fourteenth on the grid and had a problem-free stint, turning the Porsche over to Marco Holzer near the halfway point in P11. Holzer was able to gain several more positions to bring the No. 44 into a eighth place GT finish. Holzer commented, "The track was completely new for me when I arrived so I had to come up to speed quickly but by the race I was feeling pretty confident. I was quick in my stint: I pushed as hard as I could to overtake and gain some positions. It was a great weekend with the Lizards; I can't wait to be back at the next race at Road America."
"As always, the entire crew gave us great cars and very competitive pit stops at this challenging racetrack," said Neiman. "Marco Holzer did an outstanding job of learning the track and racing hard this weekend for us in the No. 44. Unfortunately, luck is just not with the No. 45 this season. But of course we'll continue to fight extremely hard to the end: a lot can happen in the remaining five races."
By: flying lizard motorsports