After the Porsche announcement concerning the new 911 GT3 RSR would not be available to the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) teams until 2014 – the year that will change the face of sportscar racing in North America. Of course that meant that the current Porsche teams would have to stick with the current 911 or take on a new challenge with another manufacturer for the 2013 season.
When the breaking news from was release, Porsche Seth Neiman, Flying Lizard Motorsports team principal commented: “Flying Lizard remains committed to sports car racing, and we look forward to announcing details of our 2013 racing program later this year."
We're excited to race in GTC in 2013.
Neiman kept his word and today the former American development team for Porsche announced that they will continue to contest for race wins, podium finishes, and the 2013 championship with a Porsche! They have not left the German manufacturer whom they have been affiliated for the past nine years, and whom they won championships with during those years.
"With the end of Porsche developmental support for the 997, it was clear that we needed to do something different for 2013,” said Team Manager Eric Ingraham.
Flying Lizard will take on a different challenge in 2013 ALMS and will go head-to-head with rivals from the Porsche camp in the GT Challenge (GTC) class. They also opened the door further by forming their first customer program for the 911 GT3 Cup cars.
Ingraham explained, "We're excited to race in GTC in 2013. Moving to GTC also gives us the opportunity to share our Porsche experience with customers who want to race professionally in either the ALMS GTC or IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge series."
At this time, they have elected to run just one Porsche 911 next year. The #44 Lizard Porsche drivers will be Neiman and Spencer Pumpelly in the Porsche only GTC class.
Pumpelly is thrilled to be taking on the new adventure with Neiman and the Lizards. He said, "I'm excited about starting this new chapter with the Lizards in the GTC class. I've been fortunate to have raced with Seth and the entire team at Le Mans twice now and I have nothing but confidence in their abilities. Having raced in the GTC for the past several years I know how competitive the class is. The team's storied history with Porsche and their committed group of people will be a big advantage when it comes to making the transition."
Thomas Blam, FLM’s chief strategist said, "We see a tremendous opportunity in GTC. Experienced teams like Alex Job Racing, The Racers' Group, and JDX have created a successful blueprint for competing in GTC, and have helped grow the field of professional drivers. It will be a new experience for us on many levels and we have a lot to learn, but we're looking forward to the challenge."
While the news is good for the Lizard fans, the team’s former two Porsche factory drivers' future is still unknown.