Flying Lizard 2nd and 4th at Sebring; Two Top-Finishing Porsches in GT2 March 18, 2006 -- Sebring, Florida -- Flying Lizard Motorsports' No. 45 (Johannes van Overbeek/Jon Fogarty/Marc Lieb) and No. 44 (Darren Law/Seth Neiman/Lonnie Pechnik) ...
Flying Lizard 2nd and 4th at Sebring; Two Top-Finishing Porsches in GT2
March 18, 2006 -- Sebring, Florida -- Flying Lizard Motorsports' No. 45 (Johannes van Overbeek/Jon Fogarty/Marc Lieb) and No. 44 (Darren Law/Seth Neiman/Lonnie Pechnik) Porsches finished 2nd and 4th, respectively, in today's Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the season-opener of the 2006 American Le Mans Series. The team had the two top-finishing Porsches in the GT2 class, and it was the team's best combined finish ever.
Once again, the famous endurance race proved to be a multi-front battle: a fiercely competitive GT2 field of 16 cars spanning five manufacturers and a war of attrition in which nearly half of the total field did not finish the race.
On the grid, Marc Lieb in the No 45 started sixth and Darren Law in the No. 44 started tenth. Over the next 12 hours, the two Lizard Porsches worked their way steadily and consistently up through the field. It was clear early in the race that the No. 50 (Multimatic Panoz) and the No. 62 (Risi Ferrari) were the fastest cars in class. By the halfway point, both the No. 23 AJR Porsche and No. 31 Petersen Porsche were effectively out of the running for the lead. For the rest of the race, the No. 45 was the sole Porsche in the hunt with the No. 50 and No. 62.
Johannes van Overbeek, No. 45 driver said, "The Ferrari and the Panoz were very impressive today. They outpaced us, but we were able to hold on through the race with Porsche's reliability and durability and a bit of luck on our side. Both of our car crews did an outstanding job in preparing and running the cars. Their near perfect pit stops, along with inspired strategy, clearly made a difference."
Lieb, who finished the race for the No. 45 and set the fastest Porsche race lap in the last few minutes of the race, added "What a fantastic race--Panoz, Ferrari and Porsche all in the top three of a 12-hour race and all three finishing on the same lap. The three of us were within 30 seconds of each other in the last 10 minutes. After the last caution, the No. 62's off-course excursion gave me a bit more breathing room and although I couldn't quite catch the rocketship No. 50, I did give him a run at the end."
The No. 44 also moved through the field from tenth to a fourth place finish with consistent stints from Darren Law, Lonnie Pechnik and Seth Neiman. Darren Law added, "The No. 44 drove great all day. Seth, Lonnie and I focused on being consistent and staying out of trouble. In such a long race, it's not just speed: the pit stop strategy, cautions, traffic, and the car's ability to endure a brutal track like Sebring all come into play."
Crew chief Tommy Sadler added, "The cars weren't quite quick enough to win, but both cars had a near problem-free race and the No. 45 Porsche had the least time spent in the pits of any car in the race. I'm really proud of the entire crew who brought us a near technically perfect race."
Next up for the Lizards is the Grand Prix of Houston, May 12.