Lizards Land in Long Beach for ALMS Round Two April 12, 2010 -- Sonoma, Calif. -- The Flying Lizard squad heads to Southern California this week for the second race of the season: the Tequila Patron American Le Mans Series at Long Beach. Located...
Lizards Land in Long Beach for ALMS Round Two
April 12, 2010 -- Sonoma, Calif. -- The Flying Lizard squad heads to Southern California this week for the second race of the season: the Tequila Patron American Le Mans Series at Long Beach. Located in Shoreline Park, the 1.968, 11-turn temporary street course is a big shift from the standard sports car racing circuit. Lizard team manager Eric Ingraham explained, "Long Beach is a tough race weekend. The pavement surface, combined with very little runoff and a hairpin turn makes it a very high consequence track. It's a short weekend, and a short race at an hour and 40 minutes, so there's very little time to recover if you have a problem. If all goes as planned, it should be a one stop race for tires, fuel and a driver change."
The driver lineup for the race will be defending ALMS GT2 champions Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Long in the No. 45 Flying Lizard Porsche 911 GT3 RSR and Seth Neiman and Darren Law in the No. 44 Porsche. Bergmeister and Long are currently fourth in the GT2 drivers championship after a fourth place finish at the season-opener at Sebring. Law and Neiman are fifth. Ingraham added, "Although we didn't have the result we were hoping for at Sebring, both cars finished in the top five so we've got a good foundation. From here on out, to stay in the championship hunt we have to strive for the podium at every race and get as many points on the board as we can."
Flying Lizard chief engineer Craig Watkins discussed the unique challenges of setting up a racecar for a street course, especially Long Beach where there is very little practice time: "We have to be very patient. We look at the setup we ran last year and then, since the race was early in the season, we factor in what we learned over the rest of the year in terms of pressures, wheel angles etc. Then we layer in what we learned this year at Sebring on the 2010 Michelin tires. That's our starting point. It could mean only minor adjustments, but we start there to see how the car likes the tire pressures and other settings and then wait for the car to start feeding us information."
He continued, "The main practice session starts at 7:15 am on Friday. Typically, it's foggy and cold for that morning session, and then it warms up by the afternoon. So the practice conditions won't be representative of those in the race, which starts in early evening. We'll just have to take the information that we learn in practice and make adjustments as efficiently as we can. But we have to go slowly; we can't start making aggressive setup changes in the first 15 to 30 minutes of an early morning practice session, but rather wait for things to settle in a bit."
The Tequila Patron American Le Mans Series at Long Beach will get the green flag on Saturday, April 17, at 4:40 pm PT with coverage on SPEED TV beginning at 5 pm PT. In Europe, MotorsTV broadcast will be tape-delayed starting on Sunday, April 25 at 18.00h GMT/19.00h CET.
Flying Lizard will broadcast its team radio live during the race. Official team gear will be available onsite at the Flying Lizard booth in vendor village and at the online store at http://www.lizardms.com/store. For race schedule and details see www.lizardms.com.