March 15, 2008 -- Sebring, Florida -- The Lizards, currently in P 2 (No. 45), P 4 (No. 44) and P 12 (No. 46) in GT2, got off to a rough start in today's Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. All began smoothly with a clean race start, with the No. 45...
March 15, 2008 -- Sebring, Florida -- The Lizards, currently in P 2 (No. 45), P 4 (No. 44) and P 12 (No. 46) in GT2, got off to a rough start in today's Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
All began smoothly with a clean race start, with the No. 45 starting from P 3, the No. 46 from P5 and the No. 44 from P 10. * At race start, in the No. 44, Darren Law moved quickly up several positions to P 7. Wolf Henzler in P3 in the No. 45, kept close to the No. 71 Tafel Ferrari (in P2) looking for an opportunity to overtake. The No. 62 Risi Ferrari (which started on the pole) was in the lead. About 30 minutes into the race, the GT2 field was just beginning to settle into position when Johannes van Overbeek, in the No. 46 Porsche, sustained a hard hit from the Audi No. 1 prototype, sending him spinning into the tire wall. The impact caused significant damage to the Porsche. The Porsche limped back into the pits, where the crew began a lengthy repair, which included left rear suspension and axle. After an hour-long repair, the No. 46 (with Richard Lietz at the wheel) rejoined the race -- now 27 laps down on the GT2 leader and in 15th position.
Meanwhile, the No. 44 and No. 45 Porsches fared better. The No. 44 Porsche moved gradually through the field, with Alex Davison taking over for Darren Law, running a solid stint, and then turning the wheel over to Seth Neiman in fourth position. Neiman kept the pace through his stint, bringing the car in in fourth only to have a pit lane speed violation with a stop and go penalty assessed. Darren Law, taking over for his second stint, served the penalty, luckily losing only one position.
In the No. 45, Henzler started with a double stint, keeping with the GT2 lead pack and turning the wheel over to teammate Joerg Bergmeister at 11:45 am, still in P3. Joerg had an uneventful stint, moving briefly to P2 and, with the help of some well-timed yellow flags, closing the gap to the No. 62 Ferrari to within 18 seconds. After the next round of GT2 driver changes, Marc Lieb took over for Joerg, retaining his P3 place.
By the end of hour four, the No. 45 had moved to P2 and the No. 44 to P 4. Top five GT2 positions: P1 No. 62; P 2 No. 45; P 3 No 87; P4 No 44; P5 No 5.
Driver lineup for the race: In the No. 46 Porsche, Johannes van Overbeek (USA) and Patrick Pilet (France) will team for the season, joined by guest driver Richard Lietz (Austria) for the race. Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Wolf Henzler (Germany) will be paired in the No. 45 Porsche for the season, joined by guest driver Marc Lieb (Germany) for Sebring. In the No. 44 Porsche, Darren Law (USA) and Seth Neiman (USA) will be joined by veteran Australian GT driver Alex Davison for Sebring. This will be Lieb's sixth race with the Lizards and the first time that Lietz and Davison have run with the team.
* Although the Lizard Porsches had qualified 2nd (No. 46 -- Richard Lietz), 4th (No. 45 -- Joerg Bergmeister) and 7th (No. 44 -- Darren Law) -- qualifying was voided after the P1/P2 qualifying session failed to run for its required minimum time. Starting positions were determined from fastest practice lap times