Flying Lizard Heads to Atlanta for Petit Le Mans Endurance Classic
September 21, 2006--Sonoma, Calif.--The Flying Lizard squad is off to Atlanta in preparation for next week's endurance classic: the 2006 Petit Le Mans. This will be the ninth running of the Petit Le Mans, the race which started it all for the American Le Mans Series in 1998. The annual race will be run to 1000 miles by the overall leader or 10 hours, whichever comes first. Like its namesake, the 24 Heures du Mans, the Petit is a race of attrition in which car reliability, driver endurance, and crew fortitude all play equal roles in the outcome.
For the Petit, Lizard teammates Johannes van Overbeek and Wolf Henzler will be behind the wheel of the team's No. 45 Porsche, joined by Marc Lieb, who competed with the team at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in March. The team's No. 44 Porsche will be driven by Seth Neiman, Darren Law, and Lonnie Pechnik.
Heading into the Petit, which is the ninth of ten races in the 2006 ALMS season, the No. 45 is leading the ALMS team championship points chase, and van Overbeek is leading the driver's championship. "We're in a tense battle for both championships and it's coming down to the wire," said Tommy Sadler, Flying Lizard crew chief. "Flying Lizard is just two points ahead of Risi in the team championship and Johannes is sixteen points ahead of Petersen on the drivers' side, with just two races left. Petit offers more points than other races because of its length, so it's crucial that both cars finish, and finish well."
Chief strategist Thomas Blam discussed the GT2 field, "It's going to be a competitive race. Road Atlanta is a solid track for Porsche performance so we should see the Porsches running fast here. The Ferraris may have been running conservatively at Mosport to allow them to do a one stop race. In a longer race they can afford to be more aggressive, so we might see them on a quicker pace at Road Atlanta than at Mosport. The BMWs have been very strong over the last few races too. We expect them to have a strong driver line up and if they don't have any issues we could see BMWs running up front. And of course this is the Panoz' home track and they've shown that they can be fast here."
He added, "But really, so much of this race is just staying out of trouble and that's not easy to do here: it's a fast track and it will be a crowded field, with the leading drivers focused on the championship."
From the Pits
On raceday, the team will broadcast their radio transmissions live and offer real-time pit notes in the Lizard blog. Go to www.lizardms.com for details.