Flying Lizard No. 45 on the Pole for Detroit; No. 46 4th and No. 44 7th August 29, 2008 -- Detroit, Michigan -- Wolf Henzler put the Flying Lizard No. 45 Porsche on the GT2 pole for Saturday's Detroit Sports Car Challenge, with a lap time of ...
Flying Lizard No. 45 on the Pole for Detroit; No. 46 4th and No. 44 7th
August 29, 2008 -- Detroit, Michigan -- Wolf Henzler put the Flying Lizard No. 45 Porsche on the GT2 pole for Saturday's Detroit Sports Car Challenge, with a lap time of 1:24.941. In the No. 46 Porsche, teammate Patrick Pilet was fourth, and in the No. 44 Martin Ragginger was seventh.
Qualifying was nearly rained out today when heavy rain soaked the track just at the start of this afternoon's practice session, which immediately preceded qualifying. Luckily the rain stopped in time and the track was almost completely dry by the start of qualifying. This morning's practice session was also run under heavy rain, so the ALMS teams entered the qualifying session with almost no setup time and few, if any laps on non-rain tires.
This is Henzler's third career pole, third pole with the Lizards this year, and second pole on a street course. In addition to Detroit, he was on the pole at Salt Lake City and St. Petersburg earlier this year. Henzler commented, "Heading into qualifying, we hadn't driven in the dry at all because it rained during both of the practice sessions today. Last year, I didn't have much track time here so I was a bit of a newbie going into qualifying in dry conditions. Even though it was so wet this morning, and we didn't run even one lap on slick (non-rain) tires, somehow the crew found a good setup for the dry and we were pretty much where we wanted to be. In the beginning of the session, it took a while to get the tire pressures up. The crew called me into the pits, but I knew that I hadn't pushed as hard as I could and that I could go quicker. I was able to go out one last time: there were four minutes left and I pushed hard. After one lap, I thought I had it, but then the No. 71 and then the No. 62 both beat that time. Then on the final lap I pushed again and was able to take the pole."
Heading into the race, Flying Lizard drivers Joerg Bergmeister and Wolf Henzler lead in the ALMS GT2 drivers' championship, ten points ahead of Dominik Farnbacher and Dirk Mueller of the No. 71 Tafel Racing Ferrari, and forty points ahead of teammates Johannes van Overbeek and Patrick Pilet of the No. 46 Porsche, who are in third. There are a total of 75 additional points possible in the three upcoming races: a first place finish is worth 20 points at Detroit, 30 at Petit Le Mans, and 25 at Laguna Seca. The Flying Lizard team is also leading in the ALMS GT2 team championships, twenty-one points ahead of Tafel Racing in second.
The driver lineup for Detroit will be Bergmeister and Henzler in the No. 45 and van Overbeek and Pilet in the No. 46. In the Flying Lizard No. 44 Porsche, Lonnie Pechnik will be joined for Detroit by Martin Ragginger, a 20-year old Porsche Junior Factory Driver. From Austria, Ragginger has driven since 2007 with the UPS Porsche Junior team in the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany and Porsche Mobil 1 Super Cup series.