Flying Lizard 4th and 5th in GT2 at Portland Grand Prix July 22, 2006--Portland, Oregon--The Flying Lizard Motorsports No. 45 and No. 44 Porsches finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in GT2 in today's Portland Grand Prix, having both started...
Flying Lizard 4th and 5th in GT2 at Portland Grand Prix
July 22, 2006--Portland, Oregon--The Flying Lizard Motorsports No. 45 and No. 44 Porsches finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in GT2 in today's Portland Grand Prix, having both started from the back of the GT2 field.
The race got off to a rocky start when the field bunched up on the first lap at the Festival Chicane, causing two of the early GT2 contenders -- the No. 62 Risi Ferrari and the No. 23 AJR Porsche -- to collide, sending the No. 62 into the pits on the second lap. Both the Lizard No. 45 and No. 44 Porsches, which had started eighth and ninth, respectively, were able to avoid the early chaos, and Wolf Henzler moved the No. 45 quickly up to third, with the No. 31 Petersen Porsche in first and the No. 21 BMW in second.
Approximately one hour in, the No. 7 Penske DHL Porsche and the No. 9 Highcroft Lola had an on track incident, resulting in the race's sole caution. The lengthy caution and the resulting pit stops from nearly the GT2 entire field (including the No. 44 and No. 45 Porsches) caused the field to reshuffle once again. Johannes headed out from the first pit stop in the No. 45 in P2 and Darren in the No. 44 was now in P8.
After the caution, the No. 62 Risi Ferrari mowed through the field, to second place, pushing hard on the No. 31 Petersen Porsche, which still retained the lead. The No. 23 AJR Porsche had also regained some of its lost positions, moving to P4, putting Johannes in P5. With the No. 62 having to pit again for driver change, tires and fuel, the field shuffled once again -- with the No. 31 in the lead, the No. 21 Team PTG BMW in P2, and the No. 23 AJR Porsche in P4.
With 45 minutes left in the race, it was a push to the finish and included a second pit stop for nearly everyone in GT2. The No. 62 Ferrari once again moved through the field from fifth position (and after three pit stops) to eventually win the race. The No. 31 Petersen Porsche, which ran a nearly flawless race, finished second and the No. 21 BMW finished third. Wolf, in his second stint, was able to hold fourth position and Darren moved up to fifth, staying ahead of the sixth place No. 51 Multimatic Panoz.
Darren commented on his hour and 45 minute stint, "We had a killer run in the No. 44 today. The car was super consistent and fast. Considering the problems we had earlier in the week getting to a good race setup, the crew did an incredible job in pulling it together. We had only one tire change the entire race, which helped us hold onto our position at the end in front of the Panoz and we were still doing great times at the end of the race. Seth had a solid run too -- we are all really happy with the finish."
"For the No. 45 it was a satisfying result given that we started at the back of the pack today and all of the challenges we had earlier this week," added Chief Strategist Thomas Blam. "We weren't able to keep the pace of the Ferrari and the BMW in this race but we ran consistently throughout and were able to hold our positions once we moved up the field. It's great to see all three manufacturers on the podium once again."
With this finish, the Lizards retain their lead in the ALMS GT2 team and drivers championship points (with Johannes van Overbeek in the team's No. 45 Porsche).
Up next for the Lizards is Road America, August 20.