Flying Lizard at Mid-Ohio August 7: Bergmeister and Long Look to Extend Championship Lead, Patrick Pilet Joins No. 44 July 30, 2010 -- Sonoma, Calif. -- For Flying Lizard, Mid-Ohio could be considered the place where it all began. In 2004, the...
Flying Lizard at Mid-Ohio August 7: Bergmeister and Long Look to Extend Championship Lead, Patrick Pilet Joins No. 44
July 30, 2010 -- Sonoma, Calif. -- For Flying Lizard, Mid-Ohio could be considered the place where it all began. In 2004, the then fledgling racing team won the first ALMS race of its career. Seven years later, it is returning as two-time ALMS GT champions, hoping to cement its lead in the 2010 ALMS GT championship.
Chief strategist Thomas Blam reflected on the team's history racing in the heartland "Mid-Ohio truly has a special meaning for us. We've won four of the last six years here, including 2009, when Joerg Bergmeister in the No. 45 was also on the GT pole. Personally, it's one of my favorite circuits and offers everything you want in a track: fast corners, good passing zones, beautiful countryside and involved fans."
Following their win at Lime Rock last weekend, Bergmeister and Patrick Long in the No. 45 Porsche are currently in the lead of the GT drivers' championship, 14 points ahead Bill Auberlen and Tommy Milner in the No. 92 BMW Rahal Letterman in the ALMS GT drivers' championship and Flying Lizard is one point ahead of BMW Rahal Letterman in the team points.
For Mid-Ohio, guest driver Patrick Pilet will join Seth Neiman in sister Porsche No. 44 to fill in for Darren Law who has a scheduling conflict. Blam added, "It will be great having Patrick Pilet back with us. He drove with the Lizards in 2008 and is both a top driver and an excellent fit with the team."
For Patrick Long, "Mid-Ohio holds some amazing personal memories for me. As a teenager and aspiring driver, I travelled here every year to attend the races and network with the teams. I remember sitting on the grassy hillside watching some incredible races and walking the paddock handing out resumes. I was always impressed by how switched on the fans were: up to date on the technology and teams and very passionate about racing. Fast forward a decade and now to return as part of the main show; it's a bit surreal and for sure an honor to be here."
For Flying Lizard chief engineer Craig Watkins Mid-Ohio will present some unique challenges, "There a lot of left-right, quick-transition turns and the racecar must be setup to manage those transitions: the driver needs to be able to trust the car to hook up quickly as weight transfers from one direction to the other. The 911s are traditionally very good under braking and that will help us here in the two significant braking zones that lend themselves to passing. But that advantage will be offset by the straight-line speed of the Corvettes, BMWs and Ferraris. Qualifying will be very important for this race: with such close competition gaining a position on track will be very difficult."