Road America: Flying Lizard Motorsports preview

Flying Lizard Ready for ALMS Round Seven at Road America August 13, 2009 - Elkhart Lake, Wisc. - The Flying Lizard squad is in Wisconsin this week for round seven of the 2009 American Le Mans Series, the Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase at...

Flying Lizard Ready for ALMS Round Seven at Road America

August 13, 2009 - Elkhart Lake, Wisc. - The Flying Lizard squad is in Wisconsin this week for round seven of the 2009 American Le Mans Series, the Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase at Road America. With five wins in a row under their belts, Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Long of the No. 45 Flying Lizard Porsche head into the race 37 points ahead of Jaime Melo and Pierre Kaffer of the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari. The duo has led the championship since St. Petersburg and extended their lead with their most recent win at Mid-Ohio last weekend. In the No. 44 Flying Lizard Porsche, Darren Law will join Seth Neiman for the 2 hour and 45 minute race which gets the green flag at 2:05 pm CT on Sunday, August 16, 2009.

Flying Lizard chief strategist Thomas Blam commented, "We're just past the halfway point of the season and of course it's good to have the advantage of being in the championship lead. However, the GT2 competition continues to heat up. Corvette had a very strong debut at Mid-Ohio: in their first GT2 race, they narrowly missed having two cars on the podium. BMW has also been consistently strong over the last few races-- they had some bad luck at Mid-Ohio but we expect them to finish out the season in the front of the GT2 pack. And of course, Risi has done well here historically. The Lizards have had mixed results here over the last five years--we've been on the podium numerous times, but have never won this race, although Joerg has won here numerous times in ALMS races. At this point, several teams are still in the running for the championship and we expect the GT2 competition to only get stronger as the season progresses."

Blam continued, "From a strategy perspective, Road America is typically not a high-caution track. There are more passing opportunities than at a track like Lime Rock or Mid-Ohio, with straightforward braking zones, and that will take some of the pressure off of the field. With its shortened format (from 4 hours to 2 hours and 45 minutes) this can be a two-stop race."

Chief engineer Craig Watkins added, "Road America is a favorite track for many ALMS drivers. It's a high speed track that mixes long straightaways with fast and tight turns. The racecars need to be set up to be very stable going into the turns: they come off of long fast sections and have to be stable in braking into the turns. This means a setup compromise: we have to trim out the cars to make sure we have enough speed in the car for the straights, but also keep a good aero balance for the fast corners. To do that, we minimize downforce, yet leave enough so that the car is predicable in the fast turns. Some of the turns, like the Kink and Canada Corner are high consequence turns so the car needs to be as consistent as possible. By this point in the season, we have a solid understanding of the 2009 cars and the Michelin tires; we know how they will handle most situations. The trick is getting to our setup as quickly as we can in the weekend so we have time to make the incremental adjustments that can get us from a good racecar to one that puts us on the podium."

-credit: flm

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Craig Watkins , Darren Law , Jaime Melo , Patrick Long , Seth Neiman , Pierre Kaffer
Teams Risi Competizione , Flying Lizard Motorsports