FROM LE MANS TO LIME ROCK: FLYING LIZARD It hasn't been completely relaxing and carefree, but Eric Ingraham says Flying Lizard Motorsports has had its easiest year yet coming back from the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The American Le Mans Series' GT2 ...
FROM LE MANS TO LIME ROCK: FLYING LIZARD
It hasn't been completely relaxing and carefree, but Eric Ingraham says Flying Lizard Motorsports has had its easiest year yet coming back from the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The American Le Mans Series' GT2 championship-leading squad is now squarely focused on continuing its early season success and put the disappointment from Le Mans in the rear-view mirror.
An early crash robbed the California-based team of any chance at Le Mans glory although the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR came home sixth in class. While disappointing at the time, the Lizards carry momentum from class victories at Sebring and Miller Motorsports Park to Lime Rock and the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix. Ingraham takes us on the road from Le Mans.
"The benefit of experience of the return, unpacking and reloading process helps of course, but the four-week turnaround between the race start at Le Mans and the race start at Lime Rock is the biggest help," he said. "In 2007 that was a three-week period, and in 2005 and 2006 it was only two weeks.
"But lest that give the impression of some ease of work in this period, we have two main challenges this year to contend with. The first is the NASCAR weekend at our home shop here at Infineon, which falls on the first weekend back from Le Mans and prevents us from usefully accessing our shop and equipment for what would otherwise be the first four days of work in getting back into American Le Mans Series mode.
"The second is the bodywork required to transform the somewhat misshapen No. 80 Le Mans car back into a more normally shaped No. 44 ALMS car. For Lime Rock, the transition from No. 80 to No. 44 will involve a significant increase in downforce (and its accompanying drag) along with an asymmetric setup to maximize the car for all of the right turns we will be making.
"Tommy Sadler, our crew chief, has done a great job in positioning us to focus on that work; however, as while we were in Le Mans we also had crew members here at our shop getting a head start on the No. 45 and No. 46 cars, minimizing the remaining work required to prepare them for Lime Rock.
"One of the additional pieces of the puzzle is that our trucks will leave our shop for a five-race swing, not returning until after Detroit. For Marco Kastner, our Parts Manager, this means that all stocking and ordering through September must be concluded prior to the truck departure on Wednesday of this week."
The American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix is race is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 12 at Lime Rock Park. SPEED will televise the race from noon to 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 13. XM Satellite Radio will air the event live on XM Sports Nation Channel 144. Additional live coverage from American Le Mans Radio and IMSA's Live Timing & Scoring also will be available at americanlemans.com.