Flying Lizard Motorsports press release
April 10, 2012 – Sonoma, California – Flying Lizard returns to Long Beach this week for the American Le Mans Series at Long Beach race, which gets the green flag Saturday April 14 at 4:30 pm PT. Porsche factory drivers Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Long return in the No. 45 Flying Lizard Porsche 911 GT3 RSR and factory driver Marco Holzer rejoins Seth Neiman in the No. 44 sister Porsche.
After a disappointing season start at Sebring in March, the Lizards are ready for the unique challenges of a street course. The two-hour event is held on a 1.968, 11-turn temporary course in downtown Long Beach. It's a notoriously high-consequence circuit which includes a hairpin turn, few passing opportunities and no run-off.
Flying Lizard chief engineer Craig Watkins discussed Long Beach, "Porsches have historically performed well on what I'd call a 'stop and start' course like Long Beach where the drivers are hard on the brakes going into a 90 degree turn, then hard on the throttle out of the turn. The rear engine design of the Porsche allows the drivers to put power down with minimum wheel spin. We have an opportunity to do well here if we can navigate traffic -- there are only a few places to pass at Long Beach -- and avoid any incidents: with no run off, one mistake here usually means the end of your race."
Watkins continued, "Like most street races, there's very little track time: a two-hour warmup, then qualifying and then we race. A storm front is moving into California this week; we might have rain on Friday which could further reduce our track time. It's Marco Holzer's first time here so we'll also need to make sure he gets seat time but I'm confident that he'll pick up the circuit very quickly. Another challenge is the ocean climate: a cool ocean breeze in the afternoon combined with sand will make for a very slippery, low-grip track."