chapman autosport image 2009
After four consecutive wins, and holding the GT2 championship lead since the second race of the season, the Flying Lizard squad heads to the Midwest next week for the Acura Sports Car Challenge at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 8. The drivers of the Flying Lizard No. 45 Porsche, Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Long, are 25 points ahead of Jaime Melo and Pierre Kaffer of the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari, which is in second place. Together, the duo has won four consecutive ALMS races: St. Petersburg, Long Beach, Utah, and Lime Rock. The Flying Lizard team is also 25 points ahead of Risi in the ALMS team championship.
In the No. 44 Porsche, Seth Neiman and Darren Law will be back together for Mid-Ohio. Law is trading off driving duties in the No. 44 this season with Johannes van Overbeek, who drove at Lime Rock earlier this month. Neiman is currently tied for fourth place in the ALMS GT2 drivers’ points chase.
Law is driving double duty on race weekend: he’ll race at Watkins Glen on Friday then fly to Mid-Ohio in time for Saturday morning warmup. ‘I’m looking forward to being back at Mid-Ohio: I raced there earlier this year and I’m always impressed by how technical the track is. With a combination of high and low speed turns and elevation changes it’s definitely a drivers’ track.’
Top of mind for the Lizards is the entry of Corvette into GT2. Mid-Ohio will be the Pratt and Miller team’s first race in the GT2 class this year. ‘It’s a real unknown at this point,’ said Lizard Chief Strategist Thomas Blam. ‘I expect them to be an extremely strong competitor: they are such an accomplished, experienced team. I am sure they’ll be running up front, but we won’t really know how things will play out until we get out on track on Thursday. Also, at Lime Rock, we saw both BMWs run in the lead pack for most of the race. So together with the other Porsches, and of course Risi, it is going to be a tough one. We need to do well here with both cars– a twenty-five point lead can evaporate very quickly.’
Flying Lizard Chief Engineer Craig Watkins discussed setup at Mid-Ohio, ‘There are two main setup factors for Porsches here: transition behavior and tire wear. The racecar has to be quick in transitions: there are six locations where the track goes either left-right or right-left. The car has to be optimized for a fast transition so the driver doesn’t have to hesitate. A few of the turns are slower and at the end of a long straight there is hard braking into a turn so we also have to factor in tire wear to get a balanced car. There is one very fast straightaway, and although Mid-Ohio is not as fast as some tracks like Road America, it is definitely hard on tires.’
Following the Race
The race gets the green flag Saturday, August 8 at 3:00 pm ET. It will be broadcast tape delayed on NBC Sports on Sun., Aug 9 at 2:30 pm ET. In Europe, MotorsTV will broadcast the race tape delayed on, Sun., Aug 16 at 5:00 pm (UK) and 5:00 pm CET. Fans can listen to Flying Lizard team radio on raceday and read race reports on the team blog at www.lizardms.com. Follow the team on Twitter @FlyingLizard_MS or to receive text updates on your mobile phone send FLMS to 30364.
Lizard team gear will be available in the paddock at the Flying Lizard store during race weekend. To visit the online store, click here.