Friday
Apr172009

Flying Lizards are California Dreaming

Story Courtesy of Michelin. To read more, visit Michelin Motorsports and download the digital copy of “The Alley.”Flying Lizard Motorsports enjoyed a dream season in the 2008 American Le Mans Series, claiming four GT2 class wins en route to the team and drivers’ championship for the very first time.

Now, the California-based squad returns stronger than ever, in quest of scoring back-to-back titles.

Success isn’t anything new for the Lizards; the team has tasted victory since their first year in operation. Darren Law and Johannes van Overbeek delivered the team’s first victory at Mid-Ohio in 2004, the team’s second ever ALMS race.

Five years, and ten wins later, the Lizards are still going strong. After campaigning three Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs in 2008, the team has consolidated its focus on two cars this season.

In the No. 45 Porsche, reigning GT2 co-champion Jörg Bergmeister has been reunited with fellow Porsche factory driver Patrick Long, while Seth Neiman shares the wheel of the No. 44 entry with fellow team veterans van Overbeek and Law.

Bergmeister and Long have a winning tradition together as they won back to back ALMS GT2 championships in 2005 and 2006 and the GT2 Class at the 2004 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Throughout the years, the team has remained loyal to Porsche and every new generation of its 911 GT3 RSR. And despite the increasing level of competition in GT2, the Lizards are always in the thick of the battle, vying for wins and championships.

“If you want to build a strong team, and we take that very seriously at Flying Lizard to make a team that can last and be competitive every year, then you need stability with your manufacturer,” said Seth Neiman, principal and co-driver. “You need someone who is committed to racing as much as we are. That’s Porsche.”

Their title defense got off to rough start this year at Sebring, as the front-running No. 45 car fought back from two on-track incidents to finish fourth in class, one position ahead of the No. 44 Porsche.

Things quickly turned around at St. Petersburg as the No. 45 took the victory.

Now, it’s on to the streets of Long Beach, one of the handful of circuits where the Lizards have yet to claim victory at. Could Saturday be their day?

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