Flying Lizard Fifth and Seventh at Mosport; Team Files Official Protest of Race Penalty on No. 45 The Flying Lizard No. 45 Porsche finished fifth and the No. 44 finished seventh today at the Grand Prix of Mosport. The team has filed an offical...
Flying Lizard Fifth and Seventh at Mosport; Team Files Official Protest of Race Penalty on No. 45
The Flying Lizard No. 45 Porsche finished fifth and the No. 44 finished seventh today at the Grand Prix of Mosport. The team has filed an offical protest of a penalty assessed to the No. 45 during the race, a penalty which significantly affected the No. 45's race outcome.
The race started cleanly and it looked like the GT2 contest was shaping up to be an exciting one. Joerg Bergmeister started fifth on the grid in the No. 45, working on a strategy for staying with the lead pack: the No. 62 Risi Ferrari was building a strong lead on the entire GT2 field, and the No. 71 Tafel Porsche, the No. 61 Risi Ferrari, and the No. 22 PTG Panoz were fighting for the top positions.
Just five minutes after race start, the course went full course yellow to remove the No. 19 prototype, which had impacted the tire wall. The No. 45 took advantage of the yellow (as did the leader, the No. 62 Ferrari) to pit for tires and fuel, and was back out in eighth position. Over the next 45 minutes, Joerg, on pace with the fastest cars, continued to move up through the GT2 field, moving up to fourth position in GT2, behind the No. 62 Ferrari in P1, the No. 31 Ferrari in P2 and the No. 22 Panoz in P3.
At the one-hour mark, the No. 9 Acura and the No. 73 Tafel Porsche collided on track, causing both cars to spin into the gravel and leaving a lot of debris on track. The course went full course yellow, and the cars began the process of lining up behind the leader, behind the pace car.
Joerg, in fourth place, was behind the No. 7 Penske Porsche prototype. Joerg thought that the No. 7 car passed him under the yellow, which is not allowed by the rules. In this type of situation, a car will frequently give the position back, waving the car ahead. Joerg reported that the No. 7 car was slowing and making hand motions. He naturally intepreted this to mean that the No. 7 was giving the position back to the No. 45 Porsche, a normal way of resolving the problem. However, officials decided however that this was not the case and assessed a penalty.
The normal penalty in this situation would be for the No. 45 car to give the position back to the No. 7 car and they would typically have three laps to do so. In this case the officials assessed a penalty that caused the No. 45 to lose position to the GT2 field, including one lap to the No. 18 Rahal Porsche, which had been behind it. It is this penalty that the team is protesting.
Team manager and No. 44 strategist Eric Ingraham commented on the race, "We are very disappointed by the outcome for the No. 45. We had a fast car, and Joerg and Johannes were both fully focused on giving the Ferraris a run for their money. We don't agree with the penalty and have protested the decision." He continued, "For the No. 44, Seth had one of the best stints of his driving career and Lonnie did a great job in keeping at the lead GT2 pace during his stint."
Up next for the Lizard squad is the Detroit Sports Car Challenge, which will start at 3:15 p.m. ET on Saturday, September 1. The race will be broadcast live on SPEED TV. American Le Mans Radio and IMSA's Live Timing and Scoring will be available at www.americanlemans.com.
Fans can follow the Lizards' race progress through their live team radio transmissions and real-time race blog. Details at www.lizardms.com.