Flying Lizard 2009 24 Heures du Mans Program April 30, 2009 -- Sonoma, Calif. -- Flying Lizard will campaign the team's No. 80 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR for its fifth consecutive 24 Heures du Mans, June 13-14 at the Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, ...
Flying Lizard 2009 24 Heures du Mans Program
April 30, 2009 -- Sonoma, Calif. -- Flying Lizard will campaign the team's No. 80 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR for its fifth consecutive 24 Heures du Mans, June 13-14 at the Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, France. The team received an invitation to compete in the historic event after winning the 2008 American Le Mans Series GT2 team championship. The 2009 Flying Lizard 24 Heures du Mans driver lineup will be Joerg Bergmeister, Darren Law, and Seth Neiman. All three drive with Flying Lizard in the American Le Mans Series. Nearing the midpoint of the 2009 ALMS season, the team leads in the GT2 championship; in the Flying Lizard No. 45 Porsche, Bergmeister (with co-driver Patrick Long) leads in the drivers' championship.
The 2009 24 Heures du Mans will mark the first time that Bergmeister, Law and Neiman have driven together as a team. All three drivers have significant endurance racing experience and earlier this year Bergmeister and Law each won in class at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Bergmeister in GT and Law overall in the DP class.
Bergmeister, a Porsche factory driver, has competed at Le Mans seven times, twice with Flying Lizard (2007 and 2008). He won in GT2 in 2004 (with Sascha Maassen and Patrick Long/Petersen White Lightning) and finished on the podium three times and in the top five in four out of the seven races. In addition to his 2008 win at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Bergmeister also won that race in GT in 2002 and both GT and overall in 2003. In the American Le Mans Series, Bergmeister is three-time GT2 champion: 2005, 2006, and 2008 (with Flying Lizard in the No. 45 Porsche with Wolf Henzler).
Bergmeister commented, "I'm very excited to be with the team again for Le Mans. The last few years here we've had some bad luck, but in both 2007 and 2008 the Flying Lizard No. 80 was the fastest GT2 car on track. So this year, if we have the fastest car combined with some good luck, we'll be in good shape. Going to Le Mans is definitely the highlight of the racing year for me: it's my eighth time now and every single race has been such an incredible experience."
Law, who drives in the No. 44 Flying Lizard Porsche in the ALMS (with Seth Neiman and Johannes van Overbeek) is currently tied for fourth place with his co-driver Neiman in the 2009 ALMS drivers' championship, and leads in Grand-Am DP class championship points. In addition to Daytona, notable finishes for Law include second in 2008 in the No. 44 at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring (with Neiman and Alex Davison) and 2nd in GT2 at Long Beach and Detroit (with Patrick Long) in 2007. Since 2005, Law has consistently finished in the top 10 of the Porsche Cup ranking of the top non-factory Porsche drivers in the world since 2005: 4th in 2008, 2nd in 2007, 7th in 2006, and 10th in 2005.
2009 will be Law's first experience at Le Mans. "I'm both excited and thoughtful about the challenges of this race. I'm really looking forward to Le Mans; racing in a 24-hour event is nothing new to me but this track is. Although Joerg and I haven't driven together before, I've been teammates with both Joerg and Seth for several years now and their experience with this track should help me get up to speed quickly," he added. "There is no test day this year, so my first run at the circuit will be on the first practice session of race week. The key will be to make the most of every second to learn the track and get used to the unique aspects of racing here."
For Neiman, this will be his fifth time behind the wheel at the 24-hour endurance race. "It's great to be returning again to Le Mans. For a driver, racing at this circuit is an experience that simply has no comparison. For the team, each year is its own unique mix of drama and excitement: all the reasons that compel us to keep coming back. Joerg and Darren are new co-drivers but I think they will be very complementary: each has one 24 hour race win under their belts already this year. The team has competed in more than 60 races in our history, including four times at Le Mans, but we still have a lot to learn. We know what it takes to finish a 24-hour endurance race, now we have to take it up one level to achieve our objective to win in GT2 at this incredible event."
The 24 Heures du Mans
The 24-hour endurance race gets the green flag on Saturday June 13 at 15:00 CET. For race details, see www.lemans.org.
American Le Mans Series - Up Next
Up next for the Lizards in the ALMS is the Utah Grand Prix, at Miller Motorsports Park May 17. For more info, see www.lizardms.com.