Flying Lizard Readies for Long Beach Street Circuit; Patrick Long to team with Darren Law in No.44 Porsche April 5, 2007--Sonoma, Calif.-- Following the Flying Lizard squad's second podium finish last weekend at the St. Petersburg, Florida ...
Flying Lizard Readies for Long Beach Street Circuit; Patrick Long to team with Darren Law in No.44 Porsche
April 5, 2007--Sonoma, Calif.-- Following the Flying Lizard squad's second podium finish last weekend at the St. Petersburg, Florida street circuit, the team is off to Long Beach for the third contest of the 12-race ALMS season and the second of four street races. Held in conjunction with Champ Car, the ALMS will headline the Saturday April 14 racing activities as part of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend.
Jorg Bergmeister and Johannes van Overbeek, both second in the ALMS GT2 drivers' points chase, will pilot the Lizard's No. 45 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. In the No. 44 Porsche, Darren Law will be joined by Porsche factory driver Patrick Long. Team principal Seth Neiman said, "We're looking forward to having Patrick back with us. Long Beach will be his third race with the Lizards. Although this is our team's first race at Long Beach, Darren, Jorg and Patrick have all driven here, which will definitely be an advantage."
Most ALMS races are held on dedicated race tracks that are designed for endurance events. The tracks have a mix of long straightaways and left and right hand turns. The courses range from the 1.54-mile, 8-turn Lime Rock Park to the 4.5-mile 24-turn Miller Motorsports Park in Salt Lake City. They are well-suited for ALMS racing in which four classes of cars compete on the track at the same time. In 2007, the ALMS is partnering with IRL and Champ Car to bring the excitement of sports car racing to four street circuits in St. Petersburg, Florida; Long Beach, California; Houston, Texas; and Detroit, Michigan.
van Overbeek reflected on competing on a street course, "Street circuits are fun but so hard on the cars and the drivers! The temporary course is created on city streets and tarmac. It's much bumpier than our standard tracks and doesn't have the grip that we're used to. And there is simply no room for error. Unlike a race track, which is designed with run off areas and tire walls, these courses are lined with concrete. They are narrow, which makes passing very tough. In ALMS races, you'll see prototypes passing the slower GT2 cars together in packs-- cars can be three and even sometimes four wide across the track before they resolve their positions and get back online. So imagine that, but in just half the space and with a concrete wall on either side and that's endurance racing on a street circuit!"
Chief Strategist Thomas Blam added, "We learned a lot at St. Pete about running the new Porsches on these types of circuits. We have only one 45 minute practice before qualifying and need to make sure we take full advantage of that to get to a reasonable race setup. You only get one shot here and we need to be ready for it."
The 1 hour and 40-minute race starts at 4 pm PT on Saturday April 14.