Flying Lizard Heads to Road America for Seventh ALMS Race August 11, 2006--Sonoma, California--Catching their breath after the intense schedule from Le Mans in June through three tough races in July, Flying Lizard heads to Wisconsin next week...
Flying Lizard Heads to Road America for Seventh ALMS Race
August 11, 2006--Sonoma, California--Catching their breath after the intense schedule from Le Mans in June through three tough races in July, Flying Lizard heads to Wisconsin next week for the Generac 500 at Road America, the seventh race of the 10-race ALMS season. The Lizards are leading in the ALMS GT2 team and driver's championship points with the team's No. 45 driver Johannes van Overbeek first in points and teammate Wolf Henzler second. The driver line up for Road America will be van Overbeek and Henzler in the No. 45 Porsche and Lonnie Pechnik and Seth Neiman in the No. 44 Porsche.
This is a pivotal time in the championship fight. Just past the season mid-point, the mathematical possibilities for the winner in the strikingly competitive GT2 field are wide open. For the first time in ALMS history, multiple manufacturers are in serious contention for the GT2 championship title, and the driver and team championships are still up in the air. Every manufacturer has been on the podium at least once, and the only team to manage more than one victory so far has been the Risi Competizione Ferrari.
Though leading both team and driver standings at this point, the Lizards are thoughtful about the next four outings. Neiman shared this perspective, "The points standings are very close in every category. We are leading due to our consistency, nearly mistake-free racing, and great crew work. So far, our competitors have not demonstrated the same level of consistency, but let's not fool ourselves: one mistake -- a bad pitstop, a small off, or a mechanical problem -- and the lead will evaporate. Remember that both Petit and Laguna Seca carry bonus points so failing to finish either of those two would be disastrous. I am very confident that our crew will continue to perform at the same level that they've demonstrated so far this season -- now we just have to go out and fight."
Chief Strategist Thomas Blam is focused on next weekend's race, "At Road America (unlike Portland and even Utah), there's a combination of long straights and heavy braking zones, which should suit the Porsches well. But we'll again have two Ferraris to contend with, and we saw at Portland with their impressive win that their pace is far ahead of the field and that they are seriously contending for the title. I suspect the BMWs will have a tough race here, as so far they have not shown the straight line speed to do well with these long straights. However, their development program is making progress every race, and they can't be counted out. And the Panoz -- they've been quiet for the last few races, but the high speeds at Road America are likely to be an advantage for them. I don't know how it will all play out but I do know it will be an exciting race."
Tommy Sadler continued, "Don't forget the other Porsche teams. AJR and Petersen/White Lightning both had difficulties in the first part of the season, but their bad luck appears to have faded and they're going to be tough every race. I do wish we had more pace to deal with the Ferraris. I suspect the new 997 model due for 2007 will once again level the manufacturers' field. Of course, Porsche GT2 teams will gain both the advantages of a new model and the disadvantages of the unknown. I can't predict the result, but I do know it will keep all of us on our toes."
From the Pits
The Generac 500 at Road America starts at 2 pm CST on Sunday, August 20. The race will be broadcast live on SpeedTV beginning at 2 pm CST.