Flying Lizard Fourth and Sixth at Laguna Seca; Finishes 2nd in ALMS GT2 Driver and 3rd in Team Championships October 21, 2006--Monterey, Calif.--The Flying Lizard No. 44 Porsche (Darren Law and Seth Neiman) finished fourth and the No. 45 ...
Flying Lizard Fourth and Sixth at Laguna Seca; Finishes 2nd in ALMS GT2 Driver and 3rd in Team Championships
October 21, 2006--Monterey, Calif.--The Flying Lizard No. 44 Porsche (Darren Law and Seth Neiman) finished fourth and the No. 45 Porsche (Johannes van Overbeek and Wolf Henzler) finished sixth in today's Monterey Sports Car Championship at Laguna Seca. It was a frustrating day for the Flying Lizard team as they watched their hopes for a GT2 team and driver championship dashed just over one hour into the race when the No. 45 was hit by a prototype, requiring a 10-minute pit stop repair.
Team principal and co-driver of the No. 44 Porsche Seth Neiman said, "First of all, thanks to the Flying Lizard crew and drivers. They were great this year, keeping us in first place in the championships for all but the first and last races. Ouch! Our congratulations to Jorg Bergmeister on his hard-won championship and to Risi Competizione on taking the team championship. Both are well-deserved."
The Flying Lizard team had a strong start for both cars but it was clear from the number of incidents in the first few laps that all drivers were on edge in this last race of the season. In the No. 45, Johannes had moved quickly through the field from seventh to fourth. He had a solid stint, working on closing the gap between No. 45 and the leading GT2 cars. An hour and a quarter into the race, a prototype spun on track in front of him after attempting to pass and they collided. Both drivers were fine and both cars were able to continue back to the pits. Johannes pitted immediately for the crew to assess the damage. It required a 10-minute pit stop to repair a punctured front radiator and replace the damaged front nose and right front fender. With a driver change to Wolf Henzler (who drove the remaining 2 and a half hours), the crew sent the No. 45 back out again in eighth position, many laps down on the leaders, effectively putting them out the running for a strong race finish. Wolf was able to move up to sixth in class by the end of the race.
Meanwhile, the No. 44 Porsche was assessed a penalty in the first lap of the race as Darren Law made contact while passing the No. 21 Team PTG BMW. Darren was able to regain some time under yellow and passed the wheel over to Seth Neiman in 6th place. Neiman's stint was uneventful. In the final stint, Darren pulled the duo to a fourth place finish.
Johannes van Overbeek, who held a four-point lead in the drivers' championship at the start of the weekend, said, "It was really tough to watch the championship opportunity dissolve in one split second when the prototype spun in front of me. There was nothing I could do to avoid him and unfortunately, the damage was severe enough that there was just no way for Wolf to make up the lost time. At the end, all we could do was watch the Risi Ferrari and the Petersen Porsche battle it out. We're all disappointed, but I'm proud of the great work that the crew did once again today. They didn't let up, even when the outcome became clear, and made a significant repair in the pits in just under 10 minutes."
Car Chief Paul Truess, commented on the No. 44 finish, "The No. 44 had a really strong race -- at the end, Darren was running some of the fastest lap times of the whole field. It's a bittersweet result given all that happened today but it ties for the second best finish ever for the No. 44 and is the first time this season that it finished ahead of the No. 45. I wish we could have seen both cars on the podium for our final race, but I guess that will have to wait until next year!"
Team principal and No. 44 co-driver Seth Neiman said, "It was a tough end to a long season for the Lizards. I am extremely proud of the entire team for pushing through the challenges all week to bring us two fast Porsches for the final race. Unfortunately, the championship eluded us again this year, but we'll be back next year with it in our sights."
The Lizards will take a racing break until the Winter Test in Sebring in late January. Check our website for updates on the team's progress over the Winter.
-credit: flying lizard motorsports