LIZARDS TAKING IN LONG-AWAITED CHAMPIONSHIP So it's true after all...the best things do come to those who wait. There is no need to tell that to anyone at Flying Lizard Motorsports now that the Sonoma, Calif.-based team finally has its GT2 ...
LIZARDS TAKING IN LONG-AWAITED CHAMPIONSHIP
So it's true after all...the best things do come to those who wait. There is no need to tell that to anyone at Flying Lizard Motorsports now that the Sonoma, Calif.-based team finally has its GT2 championship. After a pair of runner-up and third-place title finishes in its first four years in the American Le Mans Series, the season trophy resides with Flying Lizard; or at least it will after this weekend's Monterey Sports Car Championships presented by Patroacute;n.
The Series' top Porsche team in GT2 wrapped up both the driver and team championships at Petit Le Mans nine days ago. Jorg Bergmeister and Wolf Henzler secured the drivers crown with a runner-up finish at Road Atlanta (with Marc Lieb). The result also put the Lizards far enough ahead where Tafel Racing can't gain enough points at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to change the team order.
"It's very satisfying and exciting winning both the drivers and team championships," said Flying Lizard principal and driver Seth Neiman. "Petit Le Mans was as tough a race as any race that has occurred in the American Le Mans Series. It's just now dawning on us what we accomplished. The crash with the No. 46 left everyone with a lot of mixed feelings and exhaustion when we left the track. Since then we started to realize that we finally had captured the championships."
He's referring to Patrick Pilet's hard hit when he crashed into a stalled Intersport Racing prototype in the final hour at Road Atlanta. No one was injured although there was plenty of repair work to do.
And as they have all season, the Lizards will field three Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs this weekend. A single entrant can only collect points from a maximum of two cars, and the No. 45 and No. 46 Porsches were entered under the Flying Lizard Motorsports banner. The third car - the No. 44 - is listed as being run by Flying Lizard Motorsports 44.
"We still have a lot to play for," Neiman said. "The No. 46 guys still need to clinch their third place finish in the championship. We still have the manufacturers championship to go for Porsche. And the No. 44 car is still in the hunt for fourth place in the championship. So we have a lot going on. It's nice to have the pressure off and we're already starting to test things for next year.
"Despite the level of competition between the three cars, we've had open communications," added Neiman, who will drive the No. 44 entry with Darren Law and Lonnie Pechnik. "Very often, the No. 44 car has taken the lead in technical experiments that end up going on the 45 and 46 cars. Both the 44 and 46 cars have had very strong seasons and it helps to minimize the points for the competitors. And that's important because there have been five or six cars that could have won races this year."
The final round of the 2008 American Le Mans Series is the Monterey Sports Car Championships from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The four-hour race into darkness is scheduled to start at 2:45 p.m. PT on Saturday, October 18. NBC Sports will air the race from 2 to 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 19. XM Satellite Radio's Channel 144 will air the race from 4 to 8 p.m. ET on the same day. Live video of qualifying will be available on americanlemans.com starting at 3 p.m. PT on Friday, October 17. American Le Mans Radio will have live coverage on americanlemans.com, which also will feature Live Timing & Scoring.