Houston: Flying Lizard race report

Flying Lizard 2nd and 5th in GT2 at Grand Prix of Houston; 4th Podium in a Row April 21, 2007--Houston, Texas--The Flying Lizard Motorsports No. 45 and No. 44 Porsches finished second and fifth in GT2, respectively, at today's Grand Prix of...

Flying Lizard 2nd and 5th in GT2 at Grand Prix of Houston; 4th Podium in a Row

April 21, 2007--Houston, Texas--The Flying Lizard Motorsports No. 45 and No. 44 Porsches finished second and fifth in GT2, respectively, at today's Grand Prix of Houston. In an unusual street race in which there was only one full-course caution, Johannes van Overbeek and Darren Law started the 2 hour and 45 minute race third and fourth on the GT2 grid, behind the No. 62 Risi Ferrari and the No. 31 Petersen White Lightning Ferrari. In the first few minutes of the race, Johannes and Darren were both able to get past the No. 31 Ferrari, moving into second and third in GT2.

Over the next 2 hours and 45 minutes, Johannes and teammate Joerg Bergmeister kept the No. 45 in second, working hard to try to overtake the No. 62 Risi Ferrari, which outpaced the entire GT2 field to win its fourth consecutive race of the 2007 season.

Johannes had an uneventful first stint, handing the car over to Joerg, who also kept a very strong pace and held second position. During the second driver change from Joerg back to Johannes, the No. 45 beat the No. 62 out of the pits, taking the lead with about 30 minutes left to go. Unfortunately, the No. 62 quickly moved past Johannes again to retake the lead. In the last 30 minutes, Johannes worked to close the gap, but things were complicated by the No. 31 Petersen White Lightning Ferrari, which was between the No. 62 and the No. 45 on track, although it was one lap down on the two GT2 leading cars. As Johannes attempted to pass, the No. 31 appeared to block him and then made contact, damaging the right front of the car. Johannes was finally able to move past the No. 31, but was still too far behind the No. 62 Risi to make any headway.

Johannes said, "We were 'the best of the rest' at this race. The No. 62 Ferrari was just too strong for us to catch, although we were again the top finishing Porsche and the team did an awesome job. We were able to make up some time in the pits, due to great pitwork and fantastic strategy and were able to lead briefly."

The No. 44 Lizard Porsche of Darren Law and Seth Neiman, coming off of a second place finish last week at Long Beach, finished fifth in class. Darren Law drove a very strong first stint, taking third position early in the race and holding position throughout his first hour long stint before turning the wheel over to Seth Neiman. After the pit stop and driver change to Seth, the No. 44 was in seventh, where Seth held position for his 45 minute stint, staying out of trouble to turn the wheel over again to Darren for the last hour of the race.

Trouble started for the No. 44 crew in Darren's last stint as it quickly became clear that Darren could not hear the crew, although they could hear him. Because this was the last planned pit stop for the No. 44 Porsche and Darren was expected to finish out the race, the team hoped that he would continue without incident, even though they couldn't communicate.

Unfortunately, with just 45 minutes to go, Darren was hit on course by the No. 1 Audi but he was able to continue. The crew, unable to talk to Darren on the radio, attempted to communicate with a sign board. All was well until the single caution of the race, when the No. 73 Tafel Racing Porsche impacted the tire wall, suffered a suspension failure and stopped at the end of the front straight. Darren said, "My second stint was a little tough, because I took off out of the pits and realized I couldn't hear the team. Then the Audi went underneath me in a brake zone and hit me but thankfully I didn't hit anything. Then with the yellow, I didn't know if they wanted me to come in the pits or not which caused some confusion until I was able to see the sign board and pitted briefly to communicate with the crew. We had a great race car today and I'm very proud of the team. We were running in the top three for the first hour of the race, and all the guys on the No. 44 did another fantastic job."

Up next for the Lizards is the fifth race of the 12-race ALMS season, May 19 at Miller Motorsports Park in Salt Lake City, Utah.

-credit: flm

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Darren Law , Johannes van Overbeek , Seth Neiman
Teams Flying Lizard Motorsports