Flying Lizard Completes Successful Le Mans Test; Porsches Claim Top Three Fastest Times in GT2 June 3, 2007 -- Le Mans, France -- The Flying Lizard squad completed a successful test at Le Mans today, clocking the third fastest time in GT2 of...
Flying Lizard Completes Successful Le Mans Test; Porsches Claim Top Three Fastest Times in GT2
June 3, 2007 -- Le Mans, France -- The Flying Lizard squad completed a successful test at Le Mans today, clocking the third fastest time in GT2 of 4:02.668 on the 8.5 mile Circuit de la Sarthe. The three fastest GT2 cars in today's session were all Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs: the No. 76 IMSA Performance Matmut had the fastest lap time of 4:01:598 and the No. 93 Autorlando Sport Porsche second with 4:02.192. Overall, it was a positive day for the Lizards and happily, an uneventful one for the entire GT2 class.
The day-long test consisted of two four-hour sessions, starting at 9 am local time. At the start of the morning session, the course, which comprises both a permanent race track and public roads, was dirty and full of debris. Most of the teams went out on hard tires, with some teams waiting to go out until the track was a bit cleaner and had more grip. The Lizards headed out around 9:30 am, with Johannes van Overbeek at the wheel. Throughout the morning, van Overbeek and co-drivers Joerg Bergmeister and Seth Neiman cycled through the No. 80 Porsche. "The track came up to speed faster than we had expected," said van Overbeek. "I was able to go out just after the session started and spent my first stint just doing install laps -- ensuring that all was well with the car and getting reoriented with the track."
After the hour-long midday break in which the crew made some suspension adjustments, engineers Craig Watkins and Stefan Pfeiffer were finally able to move from shakedown to progressing on setup. "Today is setup day. Unlike the ALMS races, in which we have multiple practice sessions over several days to work on setup, here we get one long test day." said Watkins. "With a long, varied, and high speed track like Le Mans, getting to the right combination of good straightaway speed and aero grip in the car is a balancing act. Things went well today for us -- the car was fast right out of the gate and had a productive day. We still have a lot of work to do, but it's definitely a good start."
2007 will be the Lizard's third race at Le Mans. Since the 2006 race, improvements have been made to the track and in the paddock. Joerg Bergmeister commented, "It's quicker coming out of Tetre Rouge and smoother. Arnage is a bit quicker on the exit. The concrete change going into the Porsche curves seems to have made it a bit bumpier, but the repaving from the Dunlop bridge to the Mulsanne has added some speed." Team manager Eric Ingraham added, "We are definitely seeing faster times this year than last year -- in part due to the track changes, I'm sure. I expect you'll see a record pole set this year during qualifying on race week."