Bizarre Tire Incident Put ...
Bizarre Tire Incident Put #45 Flying Lizard and #17 Falken Tire Porsches Down in GT2 Standings; Alex Job Porsche Continues in GTC Lead and Porsche RS Spyder 2nd in P2
Second loss of right rear wheel in two laps for the #17 Porsche GT3 RSR leads to #45 Flying Lizard Porsche flat tire and an unexpected three lap delay
SEBRING, Fla. - March 20 - 18:30 EDT - The #17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, which was running sixth in the GT2 class for the first seven hours of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, lost a right rear wheel on the course, came in for a replacement and fender repair, and then lost the same wheel again, bringing out a full course yellow flag.
Unfortunately, the run-away wheel hit the #45 Flying Lizard Porsche, which was only 3.7-seconds from the GT2 lead, breaking the wheel and causing the left-rear tire to shred, forcing the defending class champions into the pits. The pits were still closed, however, as the pace car had not picked up the overall race leader yet, so the Lizard crew could not work on the car by rule until that occurred. So Joerg Bergmeister sat in the car in the Lizard pit for more than three laps until the crew was allowed to change the tire.
Meanwhile, down the pit lane, the Falken car decided to repair their car while the pits and incur the penalty, but both cars have slid downward in the standings, with the Lizard Porsche now in fifth place, three laps down from the class leader, and the Falken Porsche is back in the garage, currently shown in 12th position. The Melo/Bruni/Kaffer Ferrari continues to lead the class, followed by the two factory BMWs.
In LMP2, Greg Pickett/Klaus Graf/Sascha Maassen continue their second-place performance in the Porsche RS Spyder, while GT Challenge class for Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars finds the Alex Job Racing #81 Mission Foods Porsche piloted by Leh Keen/Butch Leitzinger/Juan Gonzales two laps up on the rest of the class,
In the Michelin Green X Challenge, which measures efficiency and petroleum displacement and carbon credits among the LMP and GT competitors, the defending champions, the #44 Flying Lizard Porsche squad of Seth Neiman/Darren Law/Richard Lietz, with their E85 ethanol fuel use, are still leading the GT class.