Flying Lizard 3rd in GT2 at Petit Le Mans; Fifth ALMS Podium Finish of '05 October 1, 2005 - Braselton, GA - In a 10-hour marathon of attrition in which more than half of the field didn't finish the race, Flying Lizard Motorsports' No. 45 ...
Flying Lizard 3rd in GT2 at Petit Le Mans; Fifth ALMS Podium Finish of '05
October 1, 2005 - Braselton, GA - In a 10-hour marathon of attrition in which more than half of the field didn't finish the race, Flying Lizard Motorsports' No. 45 Porsche-driven by Johannes van Overbeek, Jon Fogarty, and Darren Law-finished finished 3rd in GT2. The team's No. 44 Porsche was retired 2 and one-half hours into the race after an on-track incident left the car unable to continue.
The race got off to an exciting start with an incident between the three leading cars in the first turn of the first race lap. Incidents and full course cautions continued without letup throughout the race. The No. 45 Porsche emerged from the nine-hour plus race mostly unscathed-completing 356 laps with nine pit stops--including a replacement of the front shocks-and six driver changes.
Johannes van Overbeek began the race fifth in class, moving to fourth position (P4) at the one-hour mark, but one lap down from the GT2 leaders after he and the No. 43 BAM Porsche were passed by the overall leader just prior to a full course caution.
van Overbeek commented after his first hour and a half stint, "Traffic was a nightmare during the first part of the race, but I was able to stay out of the fray. I felt like the No. 45 was as fast as any GT2 car out there today. It was unfortunate that we got split from the leader pack so early in the race during the caution, but I was very happy with our speed and performance at race start."
Teammate Pechnik moved the No. 44 Porsche from seventh on the grid to fifth position before handing the wheel over to Neiman. Neiman was near the end of this stint when coming out of Turn 12, the No. 44 impacted the wall and was unable to continue. Pechnik added, "The No. 44 crew did such a great job in preparing the car for this race. It's a shame we were out of the running so quickly - I wish we could have had the opportunity to show what the car can do. But we'll be back on track at Laguna."
With the No. 45 in P4, van Overbeek handed the wheel over to Jon Fogarty for the second stint. Nearing the three hour mark, Darren Law took the helm for the third stint moving to 3rd in GT2. The team took advantage of a full course caution near the end of hour three for a driver change to van Overbeek, tires and fuel. Unfortunately, a loose wheel nut resulted in a flat tire leaving the pits, and van Overbeek returned after one slow out-lap. The team repaired the tire, then van Overbeek returned to the pits after an additional lap to serve a stop and go penalty assessed for the faulty tire change. This pushed the No. 45 back to 4th position.
A half-hour later, half way through hour four, van Overbeek moved to third position after the No. 23 Alex Job car pitted for repairs. He continued in P3 for the next hour, until a suspension failure required a pit stop to change both front shocks. With a fast shock change, Fogarty started out hour 5, still in P3. "The crew did a fantastic job changing the shocks so quickly. The car was even faster after the change, and I had a great stint," added Fogarty.
At the start of hour six, the team took advantage of yet another full course yellow for a driver change to Darren Law. Law held consistently fast times for an almost 2 hour stint, keeping the No. 45 solidly in third position, six laps down from the No. 24 Alex Job Porsche in P2 and the No. 31 Petersen/White Lightning Porsche in P1. van Overbeek finished out the race, finishing 3rd in GT2.
The Lizard squad heads back to California for the season finale, the Monterey Sports Car Championships, October 15 at Laguna Seca Raceway.