July 18, 2004--Sonoma, CA--The Flying Lizard Motorsports No. 45 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Johannes van Overbeek and Darren Law took second place today at the Infineon Grand Prix of Sonoma, which was the team's first American Le Mans Series (ALMS)...
July 18, 2004--Sonoma, CA--The Flying Lizard Motorsports No. 45 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Johannes van Overbeek and Darren Law took second place today at the Infineon Grand Prix of Sonoma, which was the team's first American Le Mans Series (ALMS) race at their new home track. The team finished first on-track in GT with a margin of 27.747 seconds. However, after the race, a 42-second penalty was imposed for a pit-lane infraction. The penalty dropped the No. 45 to second place.
Law commented on the day, "What an emotional roller coaster. Second is a good result, but it's really disappointing when you take the checkered flag first. But the rules are the rules. I only wish this had been assessed during the race, it would have been a good battle to the finish." With the second place finish, van Overbeek and Law retain the series lead in the GT Driver's Championship points.
During the race, in a full-course caution, No. 45 was called into pit lane and then sent back out without stopping. Series regulations dictate that cars must stop and turn off the engine in this situation. An infraction of the regulation calls for a "stop and go" penalty to be enforced during the race. However, the problem was not discovered until after the race, which required that officials replace the "stop and go" penalty with a time penalty, which was assessed at 42 seconds."
van Overbeek commented on the race, "Darren put us in an excellent position at the start of the race. By the time I got in the car, it was clear sailing. This was our third podium finish in a row. I'm very proud of the entire team for helping to make this possible."
The team's No. 44 Porsche, driven by Lonnie Pechnik and Seth Neiman, finished eighth in GT class. Pechnik held second in class until a spin a little over an hour into the race. Neiman took over driving duties until the last 20 minutes, turning the car back to Pechnik for the final laps.
"I'm happy that we were able to continue with the race after the spin and that I was able to get through it with minimal damage. Up until then, we were running very well. We are now focused on having another solid race at Portland," said Pechnik.
Next up for the Flying Lizard Motorsports squad is the Portland Grand Prix in Portland, Ore. on July 25. For details on the race, see www.lizardms.com.