Sebring 12 Hours
Sebring – 4 Hour Update – No. 45 Seventh and No. 44 Ninth at Four-Hour Mark 11:30 am PT/2:30 pm ET
March 19, 2011 – Sebring, Florida – A third of the way through the twelve-hour race, the No. 45 Flying Lizard Porsche is in P7 and the No 44 is P9. Marc Lieb is currently in the No. 45 in his first stint, and Marco Holzer is in the No. 44.
It was a clean race start for the entire field. Joerg Bergmeister started sixth on the grid in the No. 45 and Darren Law in the No. 44 from the rear of the grid. In his 90-minute stint, Joerg focused on staying with the lead GT pack but avoiding the battle between the No. 62 Risi Ferrari, the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrrari (which started on the pole), both BMWs, and both Corvettes as they all fought for the lead, trading off through several caution periods and pit stops.
Nearing the 90-minute mark, Joerg was P5 with the No. 62 Risi Ferrari in the lead, the No. 04 Corvette in P2, the No. 55 BMW in P3 and the No. 51 Ferrari in P4. The GT field took advantage of the next caution (to remove the Larbre No. 50 Corvette which had stopped on course) for their driver changes. Joerg pitted for driver change to Patrick Long.
Patrick was out again quickly, gaining several positions in the pits to emerge in fourth, then passed the No. 04 Corvette on the restart to take P3. At the end of that lap, things took a downturn for the Lizards when the No. 45 connected with the No. 04 Corvette as the No. 04 made an attempt to pass, sending both cars spinning, and collecting the No. 01 Extreme Ferrari in the aftermath.
Patrick said, “That was a tough stint. At the start, I passed Jan Magnussen in the No. 04 Corvette going into Turn 1. Later in the lap, he had a run on me into Turn 17. We were side by side and giving each other plenty of room, when suddenly the front end of my car launched into the air. When I landed I went directly left into Jan’s right-hand door. We both spun and the No. 01 (Extreme Ferrari) was collected. It was really unfortunate: I got caught out by a piece of the racetrack that I don’t normally run on.”