Johannes Van Overbeek/Darren Law Score First American Le Mans Series Win for the Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche; Alex Job Porsche Second LEXINGTON, Ohio - June 27 - Showing that their fastest laps during practice were no fluke, Darren Law,...
Johannes Van Overbeek/Darren Law Score First American Le Mans Series Win for the Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche; Alex Job Porsche Second
LEXINGTON, Ohio - June 27 - Showing that their fastest laps during practice were no fluke, Darren Law, from Phoenix, AZ, and Johannes van Overbeek, from San Francisco, took advantage of a great pit stop under yellow and a flawless performance in their #45 Flying Lizard Porsche 911 GT3 RSR to score the team's first win ever in the American Le Mans at Mid-Ohio.
The newly-formed team, headquartered at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., was second in class at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, and fourth at the Mobil 12 Hours of Sebring, but the team spent several months testing while the rest of the ALMS field took a break for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and an ecstatic van Overbeek was glad the hard work paid off.
"I've never driven for a team that has worked so hard to do things right," said van Overbeek, "and Darren stayed with the stiff competition during the first half of the event to put us in the position to take the lead for good. The Alex Job Porsche gave us a battle for the whole race, and we have more work to do if we want to beat them again."
GT pole-sitter Timo Bernhard, from Dittweiler, Germany, driving the #23 Alex Job Racing McKenna mail2web.com #23 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, held the lead for the first half of the race, but shifting problems caused a longer-than-normal mid-race pit stop, and the Flying Lizard Porsche took the lead for good. Jorg Bergmeister, also from Germany, was able to make up some time on Johannes, but a fuel stop with 30 minutes to go allowed van Overbeek to cruise to victory.
But the Lizard's Law had other hurtles to climb in the first hour to get into position for the lead change.
"David Murry in the Petersen/White Lightning Porsche was right in front of me for the first hour, and we were side-by-side several times before I was able to get past him, and David Saelens in the Panoz was fast until he crashed," said Law, "but our pit crew put us in the lead for good."
It was Law's first ALMS win, while van Overbeek won an ALMS GT event in a BMW in 1999.
The #31 Craig Stanton/David Murry Petersen/White Lightning Porsche 911 GT3 RSR was third, hurt by losing a lap to the pace car during the same yellow flag that gave the Flying Lizard car the lead. Fourth was the #66 The Racer's Group Porsche was fourth, as Cort Wagner and Patrick Long's ride lost time early in the race, while the #67 The Racer's Group Porsche of Pierre Ehret /Jim Matthews was fifth.
The British-based P.K. Sport Porsche of Peter Boss/Hugh Plumb was sixth; the second Alex Job Porsche of Romain Dumas/Marc Lieb was seventh after an incident with the Risi Ferrari which left Lieb in the gravel; and the BAM! YES Porsche of Leo Hindery/Peter Baron was eighth. The final GT class finisher - and all nine finishers were Porsches - was the back-up Flying Lizard Porsche 911 GT3 RS of team principal Seth Neiman and Lonnie Pechnik, who tangled with the Panoz early in the event, causing a lengthy pit stop and event-long problems.
Both the Panoz and the Ferrari were in the top five during the first part of the event, but neither finished the race due to engine problems. The only Porsche DNF was the J3 Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Tim Sugden/Justin Jackson, which broke a suspension upright two-thirds of the way through the event. The car was running sixth when it broke.
The next race for the American Le Mans Series will be Monday, July 5, at Lime Rock Park, in Lakeville, Connecticut. That race will televised live on The Speed Channel.