LE MANS HAS UPS AND DOWNS FOR FLYING LIZARD
It was a mixed day for Flying Lizard Motorsports at Le Mans. The team's No. 80 Porsche retired from the race after 10 hours, due to a mechanical driveline failure that could not be repaired.
During the 10 hours on track, the No. 80 Porsche demonstrated that it could be the fastest car in GT2 with first Johannes van Overbeek and then Joerg Bergmeister setting the fastest GT2 lap times. At the six-hour mark, Joerg had moved up to second position, when the rear wing collapsed, requiring a set of pit stops to repair. The time lost pushed the team back to sixth. Seth Neiman maintained position during his second stint, turning the car over again to Johannes for his third stint.
Nine and a half hours into the race, Johannes was moving back up the field and was fifth in GT2 when he reported that he had lost sixth gear. He was able to drive directly into the garage and the crew removed the transmission to diagnose the problem. By ACO regulations, teams may not replace an entire transmission, but only the transmission's internal components. It was determined that the problem could not be repaired and the car was retired.
"We've had a difficult few days - a number of small and large problems have challenged the team since the Test Day," Neiman said. "Today the crew's great work had kept us within a few laps of the leader, and we were clearly still in the hunt with more than 14 hours to go. It will take a while for everyone to realize that this was just something that we couldn't overcome. We are disappointed, but now need to refocus ourselves on our next American Le Mans Series race at Lime Rock."
On the plus side, the team's merchandise sales were outstanding. With a race-long partnership with Radio Le Mans, Flying Lizard sold 75 percent of its Le Mans souvenier stock. Much of it dealt with the car's new livery design by Troy Lee, and cold weather merchandise sold well, too.