Road Atlanta: Flying Lizard Motorsports race report

Flying Lizard Finishes 5th and 12th at Petit Le Mans Sept. 25, 2004 - BRASELTON, Ga.--The Flying Lizard Motorsports squad toughed it out today to fifth and 12th place GT-class finishes at the 9 hour, 37 minute, 1,000 mile American Le Mans...

Flying Lizard Finishes 5th and 12th at Petit Le Mans

Sept. 25, 2004 - BRASELTON, Ga.--The Flying Lizard Motorsports squad toughed it out today to fifth and 12th place GT-class finishes at the 9 hour, 37 minute, 1,000 mile American Le Mans Series Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. The No. 45 Porsche of Johannes van Overbeek, Darren Law, and Patrick Huisman finished the endurance race fifth in class and the No. 44 car of Lonnie Pechnik, Seth Neiman, and Jon Fogarty took the checkered flag 12th in GT.

Starting from second in class with Johannes van Overbeek behind the wheel, No. 45 held this position for an hour and 20 minutes into the race. Approximately an hour and a half into the endurance classic, No. 45 had an on-track incident with a prototype and spun into the gravel in turn five. The Porsche sustained damage to the right rear tire and took a shortcut into the pits for a full pit stop and driver change. Law took over driving duties, but due to the incident, when the car returned to the track, it had dropped to 14th in class. Over the next eight hours, the trio of experienced drivers gradually worked their way through the GT field to finish in fifth position, just seven laps behind the GT leader.

The No. 44 Porsche had an eventful race as well. At the start, the No. 44 Porsche of Lonnie Pechnik moved quickly from seventh to fifth in class and held this position for more than an hour into the race. At approximately the six-hour mark, in sixth-in-class position, the No. 44 made contact with the wall in turn 12, causing damage to the left front and rear suspension and radiator. Driver Seth Neiman was able to nurse the car back to the paddock, where the crew made the repairs necessary to get it back on track in only one hour and 15 minutes. Pechnik and Fogarty brought the car home to finish 12th, a significant achievement given the amount of damage to the car and the time off track.

"The team really did a tremendous job today," Law commented. "Although we're down in the GT driver's points, it's really an accomplishment to finish fifth from as low as 14th in class. I have to take my hat off to both the 45 and 44 crews. They worked tirelessly this weekend and they really came through when we needed them today. I know we'll be ready to go for Laguna next month."

"This was a rough race for us, but we really toughed it out," added Neiman. "Watching the 44 crew get our car fixed and back out on track was a true testament to our team's strength and commitment. Situations like today make you realize how having such a strong crew of talented individuals is essential to the success of a team. It was great driving with Jon again, he showed us why he's a two-time Toyota Atlantic champion. He did a great job turning some really quick lap times towards the end of the race."

The final 2004 stop for Flying Lizard Motorsports is the season-ending Fry's Electronics Sports Car Championships at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on October 15 and 16. The four-hour race will be broadcast on NBC.

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Jon Fogarty , Patrick Huisman , Darren Law , Johannes van Overbeek , Seth Neiman , Lonnie Pechnik
Teams Flying Lizard Motorsports