May 10, 2012 – Salinas, California – The Lizards are ready for the six-hour American Le Mans Series Monterey race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the third event on the ALMS 2012 schedule. The driver lineup will be Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Long and Richard Lietz in the No. 45 Flying Lizard Porsche and Seth Neiman and Marco Holzer in the No. 44.
The team is hopeful for a change of fortune at Laguna after a challenging start to the ALMS season which has left the normally front-running team far down in the points standings (read the Sebring and Long Beach race reports).
There's no better place to jump start the Lizard's season than Laguna Seca. Bergmeister and Long have won here the last three years in a row, in iconic races which featured some of the most dramatic racing in ALMS GT history.
Lizard chief strategist Thomas Blam explains, "The last three years here have been thrilling examples of how competitive ALMS GT racing is across so many manufacturers. Joerg and Patrick won each of those races by sheer will and a combined win margin over the three races by less than five seconds. The six-hour race seems to suit the drivers and the cars very well and the longer format allows strategy and skill to play as much of a role as straightline speed. This year the race has moved back to May, which could be colder than September. The circuit here is very low grip with a lot of sand and cooler temperatures will make it even worse. Our tire decisions here are going to be very important."
Patrick Long added, "Laguna has certainly been good to us the last few years. It's a home event and we appreciate the support of our friends and family here. I also like the six-hour race format: it's the perfect blend of endurance and sprint. The trick at Laguna is to have a good-handling car: the surface is usually very slippery from the sand. The mix of high and low speed corners here make it very challenging and it requires compromise in both car setup and approach. Things can get wild here too - lots of yellows and each restart is an opportunity to gain or lose position. I am really looking forward to Saturday."