I need to order some new shirts! One of those typical “the washer ate my clothes” stories has happened. Both my son and daughters t-shirts have disappeared. We wear our Flying Lizards shirts during the race!
Flying Lizard heads to Utah next week for round four of the American Le Mans Series season: the Larry H. Miller Utah Grand Prix on May 18. With five podium finishes so far this season, including the GT2 win at Sebring, the three-Porsche Lizard squad leads in the ALMS GT2 team championship. In the ALMS drivers’ championship, No. 45 Lizard Porsche drivers Joerg Bergmeister and Wolf Henzler are in second place, just six points behind the No. 71 Tafel Racing Ferrari of Dominik Farnbacher and Dirk Mueller. Johannes van Overbeek and Patrick Pilet in the No. 46 Lizard Porsche are in third, and in the No. 44 Porsche Seth Neiman is fourth and Darren Law fifth.
Thomas Blam, Flying Lizard chief strategist, discusses the upcoming race, “We’re looking forward to being back at Miller. The 3-mile, 15-turn course has been modified from 2007: some of the longer turns have been removed, and it should be an ideal road course setup. We expect to see the competition between Ferrari and Porsche continue to heat up at this race. Tafel Racing is coming off of two strong wins at St. Pete and Long Beach and is adding a second car at this race. This is the Corsa Motorsports Ferrari team’s home track so we expect them to be a presence, and of course, Risi Competizione will be pushing to come back from a challenging start this season. It’s a tight championship race right now between the No. 71 Tafel Ferrari and the No. 45 and No. 46 Lizard Porsches – but it’s still early in the season and anything can happen at this point.”
Lizard chief engineer Craig Watkins added, “Miller is a relatively new track and it is smooth and flat. It’s significantly different than Sebring and the two street courses (St. Pete and Long Beach), and will require a very different setup for the Porsches. Aerodynamics are a big focus here, much more than at the street courses because the speeds are higher and the course is flat with few bumps. We’ve resolved some of the understeer problems that dogged us here last year so we should be able to put together neutral cars that can take full advantage of the track. Of course, this will be our first so called ‘normal’ race running the new 2008 Porsches, so I’m sure we have plenty to learn.”
Watkins agrees that Miller is one of the top circuits of the ALMS season, but also with its own unique challenges: “The wind and sand are tough to deal with here. Last year, sand blowing across the track made it hard to get setup dialed in. Also, it’s the first time here for Patrick Pilet: so far he’s been quick to get acclimated to each track but learning a complex road circuit can take longer than learning a short street course. In the No. 44 Porsche, Darren Law will not arrive until race day, so Seth Neiman will manage setup solo.”
After Salt Lake City, the Lizards will head to France for the historic 24 Heures du Mans race. Eric Ingraham, team manager and No. 46 Porsche strategist, added, “After Miller, we head straight to Le Mans for the test on June 1 and the race June 14 and 15. We hope to have a strong showing here in Salt Lake: having some solid momentum going into the Le Mans event always helps.”
The race starts at 12 pm Pacific Time, Sunday, May 18, 2008. It will be broadcast live on SpeedTV in North America and MotorsTV in Europe. Lizards will broadcast their team radio live during the race. For details see www.lizardms.com.