Six hours into the 24 Heures du Mans, the No. 80 is sixth in GT2.
Joerg Bergmeister started the No. 80 Flying Lizard Porsche on the pole, having set the fastest time in Thursday’s qualifying session. It was a clean start for the field. Over the first few laps Joerg fell back to fourth in GT2, with the lead pack settling out to be the No. 82 Risi Competizione Ferrari, the No. 76 IMSA Matmut Porsche, and the No. 77 Felbermayr Porsche.
Joerg explained, “At the start, it seemed like we were a bit down on the top speed – the No. 82, No. 76 and No. 77 just drove by me on the straights. We have a new engine in for the race, and it had run only the morning warmup, so maybe it just needed some more time to get up to speed. Other than that, the stint was great – on fast corners we have a really good balance. Once I got settled in, I just tried to stay out of trouble and let the guys in front of me sort it out.”
Over the next few hours, the lead GT2 pack jockeyed positions, with the No. 80 staying in fourth. 45 minutes into the race, Joerg handed the wheel over to Darren Law for his first stint. “My first stint went fairly well – the car felt good and I was running a good pace. It took me a bit to get settled in – that was the first run I’ve had here in daylight. I feel like I’m now over the nerves of my first ever run at Le Mans and ready to go.”
At the 2-hour mark, Darren turned the wheel back over to Joerg, now in fifth. The No. 80 took fresh tires at the second stop but several of the other lead GT2 cars opted to double stint their tires. Within 30 minutes, the Lizard’s tire strategy paid off as Joerg moved up the field to retake the lead – running 4 seconds faster than other GT2 cars in the front of the pack.
After a double stint from Joerg, Bergmeister turned the car over to Seth Neiman. Bergmeister was in the lead, with the No. 82 in second and the No. 76 in third. Over the next hour, Neiman had an uneventful run – he was well into a double stint when he spun heading out of the Esses, bumping the track barrier and flat-spotting the tires. This sent Neiman back to the pits for an unscheduled pit stop for fresh tires and driver change to Darren Law.
At the six hour mark, the Lizards are now in sixth. The No. 82 Risi Competizione Ferrari is in the lead, with No. 78 AF Corse Ferrari in P2, the No. 92 JMW Motorsport Ferrari in P3, the the No. 76 IMSA Matmut Porsche in P4, the No. 97 BMS Scuderia Ferrari in P5. The No. 80 is approximately 2 laps down on the No. 82.
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