The Flying Lizard Motorsports team has had its work cut out for them this week. We have also seen a bit of role reversal with the two cars. In the ALMS, both cars run in the GT class, with the no44 usually off pace but comes forward over the race. The no45 is always toward the front. At Le Mans, the no80 has had its share of padlock and a slower pace compared to the BMW’s, Ferrari’s and Corvette’s. The no81, driven by Neiman, Law and Pumpelly has been performing very well.
If you’re not familiar with the GTE-Am class, the cars have to be a year old model with one pro-driver out of the three.
Due to the ALMS Long Beach race/schedule, the team did not make it over for the Le Mans testing day. However, most of their competition was, collecting valuable data along the way.
Qualifying took place over three session with one on Wednesday and two yesterday. The no81 landed third on grid in GTE-Am. With a good number of lead changes between the no61 Af Corse Srl Ferrari and the no63 Proton Competition Porsche.
Team manager Eric Ingraham added,
“There’s never enough time here at Le Mans – ten hours of track time and you still can’t get everything accomplished. The No. 81 crew did a great job at getting the car together. We didn’t specifically focus on qualifying times but the general speed of the No. 81 looks encouraging.”
The no80 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR was not so lucky. Towards the end of the first qualifying season yesterday, Bergmeister was not able to avoid a spun car, resulting in heavy damage.
Chief strategist Thoms Blam said,
“It’s been a challenging few days for the No. 80 car. We were making good progress until the end of the first session today when a car spun in front of Joerg and they made heavy contact. The crew did a great job getting the car repaired quickly and out again for last hour of the final session. We were able to get things back on track and we feel like we are close to a good setup for the race.”
The fastest lap was a 4:01.024 putting them 12th on grid. The top spot went to the no55 BMW with a 3:57.592, almost 4 seconds faster.
Pole position is not everything in a 24 hour race!
Photos: © Bob Chapman