No. 44 8th at Long Beach; No. 45 Retired at Fifty-Minute Mark
The high-consequence Long Beach circuit claimed the No. 45 of Patrick Long and Joerg Bergmeister nearing the halfway point of the race after an impact with the concrete wall damaged the suspension beyond what could be repaired during the short two-hour race. Darren Law and Seth Neiman fared better, bringing the No. 44 to an 8th place GT finish from its 13th place start. The No. 56 BMW won in GT, the No. 4 Corvette finished in P2 and the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari was P3.
At the time of the incident, Long was in P1, nearing the end of his first stint. The No. 56 BMW was P2 and the No. 4 Corvette in P3. Patrick explained, "I had been fighting hard since starting fourth on the grid: the BMW, the No. 4 Corvette and I had all led. Just before the incident, the No. 01 Ferrari had come out of the pits on cold tires. I drove two corners off-line trying to get around. Then, going into Turn 8, I was on the inside and braked in my normal position but I had so much debris on my tires that I couldn't get the tires stopped and flush-hit the concrete wall in the exit. At any other track, that would have meant just two wheels off in the dirt but unfortunately here that was the end of our race. I feel really badly that this happened: everyone worked really hard to get us here and to see it send so abruptly is tough."
Law added, "We had better luck in the No. 44: a trouble-free run in a solid car. Traffic was very difficult this year because the GTC and LMPC classes were equal to us down the straight; the only way to get by was to force your way through under braking or through the corner. And here, there was no room for error so you had to be very careful. We are happy that we brought the No. 44 home without a scratch and now have some good momentum going into the next event."
Up next for the Lizards is the 24 Heures du Mans at the Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, France, June 11-12, 2011.