Flying Lizard Fourth and Eighth at ALMS Season Finale; Team Third in 2005 ALMS Drivers' Championship
October 15, 2005 - Salinas, CA - In one of the most exciting races of the ALMS season, Flying Lizard Motorsports' No. 45 and No. 44 Porsches finished fourth and eighth, respectively, in the Monterey Sports Car Championships tonight at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. This put the team third in both the ALMS GT2 Drivers' Championship (No. 45 van Overbeek/Fogarty) and the Team Championship.
In today's four-hour season finale, nearly every class was nose to tail in a race filled with car-to-car contact, gravel trap excursions, and full-course yellow flags. Teams battled an oily, dirty track, and with temperatures rapidly falling, these problems were made worse by tires that took longer than normal to come up to temperature.
van Overbeek started the race fifth in the No. 45. In his first stint, he worked his way to fourth, then turned the wheel over to Jon Fogarty. After his 90-minute drive, Fogarty commented, "I really enjoyed the stint. I was able to lead for a short time after I got by the Panoz on the restart. Once I got the tires warmed up, the balance felt really good, and the car was a lot of fun to drive."
By the end of his stint, Fogarty was in fourth position. van Overbeek once again took the wheel, moving back to third. A late race incident dropped the No. 45 one position before the checkered flag to finish fourth in GT2. "I worked as hard as I could to keep the position, but after I was forced off in Turn 5 by the No. 23 Alex Job Porsche, Mike Rockenfeller in No. 43 (BAM) was able to get by me. It was disappointing, particularly because the No. 23 was not on the lead lap and was not racing for position. I want to thank the crew who again did an amazing job preparing the car and executing fast pit stops during the race."
Teammate Lonnie Pechnik started sixth on the grid in the No. 44 car. After falling to eighth in GT2 early in the race, he battled heavy traffic for a nearly 2-hour stint, pitting from sixth place under yellow to transfer to co-driver Seth Neiman. Pechnik said about his first stint, "That was a really challenging run. Navigating the slower cars on the track, avoiding all the incidents and dealing with oil and gravel was tough." Neiman took the wheel, coming in 90 minutes later for driver change and to repair a loose decklid. "It was a long stint because of all of the yellows. As the temperature dropped, the track conditions became challenging, but overall it was a really fun time to drive." Pechnik completed the race with one more unscheduled pit stop to replace a flat front right tire, bringing the No. 44 across the finish line eighth in GT2.
The team will enjoy a well-deserved break for the winter season and rejoin the ALMS in March at the traditional season opener at Sebring.
About Flying Lizard Motorsports In 2005, their second year of competition, Flying Lizard competes in the GT2 class of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). This follows the team's successful inaugural season in which they finished second in class in both Drivers' and Team points in the 2004 ALMS championship.
The red, black and silver No. 44 and No. 45 Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs are running the entire 10-race ALMS 2005 season. The Porsches are sponsored by PortalPlayer, a developer of chips and software for today's most popular MP3 personal media players; eSilicon, a semiconductor company that manufactures and designs custom chips for the world's leading electronics companies; and ShoreTel, a leading provider of enterprise IP telephony solutions.
The team is managed by six principals: drivers Johannes van Overbeek, Lonnie Pechnik and Seth Neiman; chief engineer Craig Watkins; crew chief Tommy Sadler; and team manager Eric Ingraham. Visit the team website at www.lizardms.com.