Flying Lizard Motorsports

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United States Flying Lizard Motorsports
FlyingLizardLogo1179by1023.jpg
Founded 2003
Team principal(s) Tommy Sadler, Thomas Blam, Darren Law
Current series Pirelli World Challenge, United SportsCar Championship
Former series American Le Mans Series
Rolex Sports Car Series
Teams'
Championships
3 (2008, 2009, 2013)
Drivers'
Championships
3 (2008, 2009, 2010)

The Flying Lizard Motorsports group is a motorsport team from Sonoma, California, formed by Seth Neiman in early 2003. The team has competed in the full American Le Mans Series season as well as the 24 Hours of Daytona since 2004. The Lizards have also been Porsche Motorsport North America's development partner from 2007 to 2012. The team helped develop the first- and second-generation 997 GT3 RSR as well as bring it to victory several times in its six-year run in the series.

American Le Mans Series[edit]

The #45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3-RSR at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
The #44 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3-RSRs at the 2011 Petit Le Mans.

2004-06 (Beginnings)[edit]

The 2004 American Le Mans Series season saw Flying Lizard Motorsports and drivers Darren Law and Johannes van Overbeek finish 2nd in the GT2 team and drivers championship.[1][2]

In 2005, the team finished 3rd in the ALMS GT2 Team Championship with drivers Johannes van Overbeek and Jon Fogarty finishing 5th in the GT2 drivers championship.[3][4]

In 2006, the team finished 3rd in the GT2 team championship and driver Johannes van Overbeek finished 2nd in the drivers championship while his teammate, Wolf Henzler finished 4th.[5][6]

2007-12 (Factory Support)[edit]

For the 2007 season, the team took delivery of two brand new 997 Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs. Team also became Porsche Motorsport North America's development partner and received factory support from Porsche.[citation needed] Drivers Johannes van Overbeek and Jörg Bergmeister and the new addition of Marc Lieb shared duties of driving the #45 car, while Darren Law, Seth Neiman, and Lonnie Pechnik shared the #44 car. After the #45 car won three times in 2007, including the prestigious Petit Le Mans,[7] the team would finish second in the team standings to the Risi Competizione team.[8] Drivers Jörg Bermeister and Johannes van Overbeek would also finish second in the series driver standings.[9]

For the 2008 season, the Flying Lizard team continued on in its fifth consecutive season in the GT2 class of the American Le Mans series. For this season, the team expanded into a three car operation with three Porsche 2008 911 GT3 RSRs. In the #45 car, previous season driver Jorg Bergmeister was joined by Wolf Henzler for the full season of competition with third driver Marc Lieb. Johannes van Overbeek and the new addition of Patrick Pilet piloted the team's #46 entry full-time with guest driver Richard Lietz. In the #44 entry, Darren Law and Seth Neiman with guest driver Alex Davison piloted the car. The #45 car of Bergmeister and Henzler was in tight contention with the Tafel Racing squad of Dominik Farnbacher and Dirk Müller, and at the end of the season emerged the overall points winners, giving Flying Lizard Motorsports their first ever GT2 class championship.[10]

For 2009, Flying Lizard Motorsports back moved to a two car squad with the returning GT2 class champion #45 car being piloted by Jörg Bergmeister and Patrick Long for the majority of the races with Marc Lieb as the reserve third driver for longer races. The #44 car will be piloted by Seth Neiman and Darren Law for the majority of the races with Johannes van Overbeek as the reserve driver. After coming in 4th at the season opener at Sebring[11] with a heavily damaged car, the #45 team took the class win in the following 5 races. At the following two races at Road America and Mosport they faced much tougher competition with a greatly improved Rahal Letterman Racing BMW team and a new Corvette Racing team. The #45 managed 3rd at Mosport and 4th at Road America but came back to claim first place in GT2 at the season finale in Monterey, California. Winning 6 out of 10 races, the #45 car won the GT2 team championship giving the team its second consecutive championship win.[12] Jörg Bergmeister and Patrick Long also won the GT2 drivers championship.[13]

For 2010, Flying Lizard Motorsports continued running two cars. The two-time GT2 championship winning #45 car, driven by Jörg Bergmeister and Patrick Long with Marc Lieb as the reserve third driver, competed alongside its sister car, the #44, driven by Seth Neiman and Darren Law with Richard Lietz as the reserve third driver. The Lizards faced fierce competition from Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Risi Competizione. After finishing 4th at the 12 hours of Sebring,[14] the #45 car went on to take first place in its class at Long Beach, Laguna Seca, Lime Rock Park and Mosport. The Lizards placed second in the Team Championship[15] and first in the Drivers Championship[16] thanks to Jörg Bergmeister and Patrick Long. This gave Flying Lizard Motorsports and Bergmeister three consecutive Driver Championship titles.

For the 2011 season the team utilized the brand new second-generation 997 GT3 RSR. Both the #44 and #45 car were piloted by the same team as the year before, with the exception of Marco Holzer replacing Richard Lietz as reserve third driver in the #45 car. After finishing second in GT2 Championship the year before, Rahal Letterman Racing came back to fight even harder against the Flying Lizard Motorsports group. The #45 car managed a 2nd in class at Lime Rock,[17] 1st in class at Laguna Seca[18] and a 2nd in class finish at Petit Le Mans.[19] The team managed a 3rd-place finish in the GT Season Championship[20] while Jörg Bergmeister and Patrick Long finished 4th in the GT Drivers' Championship.[21]

In 2012 the team took deliver of two brand new second-gereration GT3 RSRs. This years car has a front and rear track that has been widened by 1.9 inches[22] allowing for much wider tires giving more grip. The Flying Lizard Motorsports team struggled to find speed and consistency with the new car. The #45 car managed a win at Lime Rock Park after a fierce battle with Corvette Racing and Extreme Speed Motorsports. The team also managed a win at Mosport but was disqualified after failing a stall test at the end of the race.[23] The team finished 4th in the GT championship[24] with Jörg Bergmeister and Patrick Long finishing 5th in the Drivers Championship points.[25]

2013 (Transition to GTC)[edit]

With the development of the 997 GT3 RSR ending, the team's relationship with Porsche Motorsport North America was discontinued. On November 15, 2012, Flying Lizard Motorsports announced that they would transition to competing in the GT Challenge category.[26] The team fielded a two car team for what would be the final season of the American Le Mans Series before it merged with the Rolex Sports Car Series to form the Tudor United SportsCar Championship in 2014. With the team winning four races of the ten round season, including a victory at the season finale, Petit Le Mans, drivers of the #45 car, Spencer Pumpelly and Nelson Canache Jr, would finish second in the GTC drivers' championship behind the Alex Job Racing's Jeroen Bleekemolen and Cooper Macneil and the team would claim its third ALMS Teams' Championship and their first in the GTC class.[27][28]

The #35 Flying Lizard Motorsports Audi R8 LMS at the 2014 6 Hours of Watkins Glen

United Sports Car Championship[edit]

After competing with Porsches since its inception, the Flying Lizard team announced on November 11, 2013 that it would partner with Audi Sport Customer Racing to campaign a two car Audi R8 LMS effort in the newly formed Tudor United SportsCar Championship GT Daytona Class.[29] Seth Neiman and Dion von Moltke would team in the #35 car Nelson Canache Jr. and Spencer Pumpelly sharing the #45 car. The season began with a last lap battle at the 24 Hours of Daytona, resulting in the first-place finishing car to receive a penalty for intent for avoidable contact, awarding Flying Lizard as the winners.[30] Five hours later, the penalty was revoked, moving the Lizard squad to second place. The team finished out the season with four top-five finishes.

For 2015, the team announced they would run a partial season in United SportsCar, in addition to running a full season in Pirelli World Challenge and Porsche Cup of America. The team ran five races with the Audi R8 LMS throughout the season: the 24 Hours of Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring, the Monterey Grand Prix, Lone Star Le Mans and Petit Le Mans.[31] The 2015 drivers included: Tomonobu Fujii, Satoshi Hoshino, Robert Thorne, German Markus Winkelhock, Colin Thompson, Marco Holzer, Guy Cosmo, Patrick Byrne, Mike Vess and Jason Hart. The team's highlight of the season included a top-5 finish at Petit Le Mans, which was canceled with only 7 hours and 51 minutes of the 10-hour race completed.[32]

Pirelli World Challenge[edit]

Flying Lizard partnered with championship winning team K-PAX Racing in 2015 to enter two McLaren 650S GT3s for a full season in the Pirelli World Challenge GT championship.[33] With McLaren GT factory driver Kevin Estre and K-PAX veteran Robert Thorne, the unified effort had a successful first season, earning four wins and 8 podiums.[34] Estre proved to be a front runner, winning Round 2 at Circuit of the Americas by over 30 seconds in torrential downpour, establishing himself early as a championship contender.[35]

Results[edit]

American Le Mans Series[edit]

Year Car Primary Drivers Class 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Driver Rank Driver Points Team Rank Team Points
2009 #44 Porsche 997 GT3 RSR Seth Neiman
Darren Law
GT2 SEB
5
STP
5
LBGP
5
UTA
6
LRP
7
MOH
9
ROA
8
MOS
7
RAT
7
LAG
5
SN: 12th
DL: 15th
SN: 76
DL: 57
1st 181
#45 Porsche 997 GT3 RSR Jorg Bergmeister
Pat Long
GT2 SEB
4
STP
1
LBGP
1
UTA
1
LRP
1
MOH
4
ROA
5
MOS
5
RAT
5
LAG
1
1st 181
2010 #44 Porsche 997 GT3 RSR Seth Neiman
Darren Law
GT SEB
5
LBGP
12
LAG
11
UTA
11
LRP
7
MOH
7
ROA
9
MOS
9
RAT
9
SN: 15th
DL: 18th
SN: 43
DL: 39
2nd 157
#45 Porsche 997 GT3 RSR Jorg Bergmeister
Pat Long
GT SEB
4
LBGP
1
LAG
1
UTA
5
LRP
1
MOH
4
ROA
2
MOS
1
RAT
4
1st 157
2011 #44 Porsche 997 GT3 RSR Seth Neiman
Marco Holzer
Darren Law
GT SEB
7
LBGP
8
LRP
7
MOS
8
MOH
10
ROA
9
BAL
8
LAG
9
RAT
8
SN: 8th
MH: 10th
DL: 14th
SN: 60
MH: 53
DL: 39
3rd 115
#45 Porsche 997 GT3 RSR Jorg Bergmeister
Pat Long
GT SEB
6
LBGP
13
LRP
2
MOS
12
MOH
9
ROA
4
BAL
11
LAG
1
RAT
2
4th 106
2012 #44 Porsche 997 GT3 RSR Seth Neiman
Marco Holzer
GT SEB
6
LBGP
9
LAG
9
LRP
9
MOS
9
MOH
7
ROA
8
BAL
7
VIR
7
RAT
4
SN: 10th
MH: 11th
SN: 53
MH:46
4th 122
#45 Porsche 997 GT3 RSR Jorg Bergmeister
Pat Long
GT SEB
10
LBGP
7
LAG
6
LRP
1
MOS
11
MOH
2
ROA
2
BAL
5
VIR
2
RAT
5
5th 111
2013 #44 Porsche 997 GT3 RSR Seth Neiman
Dion von Moltke
GTC SEB
9
LBGP
3
LAG
9
LRP
6
MOS
7
ROA
5
BAL
1
AUS
7
VIR
5
RAT
5
DvM: 9th
SN: 12th
DvM: 81
SN 34
1st 157
#45 Porsche 997 GT3 RSR Spencer Pumpelly
Nelson Canache
GTC SEB
2
LBGP
2
LAG
8
LRP
1
MOS
2
ROA
1
BAL
7
AUS
5
VIR
7
RAT
1
2nd 139

United SportsCar Championship[edit]

Year Car Primary Drivers Class 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Rank Points
2014 #35 Audi R8 LMS Seth Neiman
Dion von Moltke
GTD DIS
5
SEB
5
LAG
5
DET
13
WGI
7
MOS
14
IND
13
ROA
8
VIR
7
AUS
13
RAT
12
9th 252
#45 Audi R8 LMS Spencer Pumpelly
Nelson Canache
GTD DIS
2
SEB
8
LAG
6
DET
14
WGI
14
MOS
10
LRP
8
ROA
7
VIR
16
AUS
7
RAT
14
10th 249
2015 #45 Audi R8 LMS Various GTD DIS
10
SEB
14
LAG
9
DET
-
WGI
-
MOS
-
LRP
-
ROA
-
VIR
-
AUS
11
RAT
5
13th 73

Pirelli World Challenge[edit]

Year Car Driver Class 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Rank Points
2015 #6 McLaren 650S GT3 Robert Thorne GT AUS
19
AUS
10
STP
24
STP
22
LGBP
24
BAR
13
BAR
2
MOS
6
MOS
25
DET
6
ROA
14
ROA
22
ROA
27
MOH
25
MOH
20
MIL
-
MIL
-
SON
24
SON
4
MRLS
16
16th 781
#9 McLaren 650S GT3 Kevin Estre GT AUS
4
AUS
1
STP
5
STP
3
LGBP
26
BAR
29
BAR
1
MOS
2
MOS
6
DET
1
ROA
20
ROA
23
ROA
20
MOH
6
MOH
6
MIL
-
MIL
-
SON
1
SON
2
MRLS
13
5th 1426

24 Hours of Le Mans Results[edit]

Year Class No Tyres Car Team Drivers Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
2005 GT2 80 M Porsche 996 GT3-RS
Porsche 3.6L Flat-6
United States Flying Lizard Motorsports United States Johannes van Overbeek
United States Lonnie Pechnik
United States Seth Neiman
323 13th 3rd
2006 GT2 80 M Porsche 996 GT3-RS
Porsche 3.6L Flat-6
United States Flying Lizard Motorsports United States Johannes van Overbeek
United States Patrick Long
United States Seth Neiman
309 18th 4th
2007 GT2 80 M Porsche 997 GT3-RSR
Porsche 3.8L Flat-6
United States Flying Lizard Motorsports United States Johannes van Overbeek
United States Seth Neiman
Germany Jörg Bergmeister
124 43rd DNF
2008 GT2 80 M Porsche 997 GT3-RSR
Porsche 3.8L Flat-6
United States Flying Lizard Motorsports United States Johannes van Overbeek
United States Seth Neiman
Germany Jörg Bergmeister
289 32nd 6th
2009 GT2 80 M Porsche 997 GT3-RSR
Porsche 4.0 L Flat-6
United States Flying Lizard Motorsports United States Darren Law
United States Seth Neiman
Germany Jörg Bergmeister
194 45th 14th
2010 GT2 80 M Porsche 997 GT3-RSR
Porsche 4.0 L Flat-6
United States Flying Lizard Motorsports United States Darren Law
United States Seth Neiman
Germany Jörg Bergmeister
61 46th 15th
2011 LMGTE Pro 80 M Porsche 997 GT3-RSR
Porsche 4.0 L Flat-6
United States Flying Lizard Motorsports United States Patrick Long
Germany Lucas Luhr
Germany Jörg Bergmeister
310 18th 6th
LMGTE Am 81 M Porsche 997 GT3-RSR
Porsche 4.0 L Flat-6
United States Flying Lizard Motorsports United States Darren Law
United States Seth Neiman
United States Spencer Pumpelly
211 32nd DNF
2012 LMGTE Am 79 M Porsche 997 GT3-RSR
Porsche 4.0 L Flat-6
United States Flying Lizard Motorsports France Patrick Pilet
United States Seth Neiman
United States Spencer Pumpelly
313 27th 4th
LMGTE Pro 80 M Porsche 997 GT3-RSR
Porsche 4.0 L Flat-6
United States Flying Lizard Motorsports United States Patrick Long
Germany Marco Holzer
Germany Jörg Bergmeister
114 39th DNF
2014 LMGTE AM 66 M Ferrari 458 GTE United States JMW Motorsports Saudi Arabia Abdulaziz Al-Faisal
United States Seth Neiman
United States Spencer Pumpelly
327 27th 7th

24 Hours of Daytona Results[edit]

Year Class No Car Team Drivers Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
2004 GT 74 Porsche GT3 Cup Flying Lizard Motorsports United States Johannes van Overbeek
United States Seth Neiman
United States Lonnie Pechnik
United States Peter Cunningham
Germany Mike Rockenfeller
523 3rd 2nd
2010 GT 67 Porsche GT3 Cup TRG/ Flying Lizards Germany Jorg Bergmeister
United States Patrick Long
United States Seth Neiman
United States Johannes van Overbeek
703 9th 2nd
2011 DP 45 Porsche Riley Flying Lizard Motorsports Germany Jorg Bergmeister
United States Patrick Long
United States Seth Neiman
United States Johannes van Overbeek
654 22nd 13th
2014 GTD 35 Audi R8 LMS Flying Lizard Motorsports United States Seth Neiman
South Africa Dion von Moltke
United Kingdom Alessandro Latif
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
661 22nd 5th
45 Audi R8 LMS Flying Lizard Motorsports United States Spencer Pumpelly
United States Tim Pappas
Venezuela Nelson Canache Jr.
Germany Markus Winkelhock
662 19th 2nd
2015 GTD 45 Audi R8 LMS Flying Lizard Motorsports Germany Markus Winkelhock
United States Robert Thorne
Japan Satoshi Hoshino
Japan Tomonobu Fujii
670 24th 10th

References[edit]

  1. ^ 2004 Team Championship Results, 2004
  2. ^ 2004 Drivers Championship Results, 2004
  3. ^ 2005 Team Championship Results, 2005
  4. ^ 2005 Drivers Championship Results, 2005
  5. ^ 2006 Team Championship Results, 2006
  6. ^ 2006 Drivers Championship Results, 2006
  7. ^ 2007 Petit Le Mans Results, 2007
  8. ^ 2007 Team Championship Results 2007
  9. ^ 2007 Drivers Championship Results 2007
  10. ^ 2008 Team Championship Results 2008
  11. ^ 2009 Sebring Results 2009
  12. ^ 2009 Team Championship Results 2009
  13. ^ 2009 Drivers Championship Results 2009
  14. ^ 2010 Sebring Results
  15. ^ 2010 Team Championship Results
  16. ^ 2010 Drivers Championship Results
  17. ^ 2011 Lime Rock Results
  18. ^ 2011 Laguna Seca Results
  19. ^ 2011 Petit Le Mans Results
  20. ^ 2011 Team Championship Results
  21. ^ 2011 Drivers Championship Results
  22. ^ Porsche 911 GT3 RSR race car ready for 2012, "Autoweek", November 4, 2011
  23. ^ Flying Lizard Porsche of Long Bergmeister Finishes First at Mosport GT, But Disqualified by IMSA, "American Le Mans Series", July 22, 2012
  24. ^ 2012 Team Championship Results
  25. ^ 2012 Drivers Championship Results
  26. ^ "Flying Lizard Announces ALMS GTC Racing Plan and Customer Program for 2013". Retrieved 19 October 2013. 
  27. ^ 2013 ALMS Drivers' Championship Results 2013
  28. ^ 2013 ALMS Teams' Championship Results 2013
  29. ^ Flying Lizard Announces 2014 Program 2013
  30. ^ http://www.imsa.com/articles/level-5-wins-rolex-24-ferrari-competition-trumps-controversy
  31. ^ http://lizardms.com/news/releases/2015/sept-23.html
  32. ^ http://lizardms.com/news/releases/2015/oct-04.html
  33. ^ http://lizardms.com/news/releases/2014/dec-18.html
  34. ^ http://lizardms.com/news/releases/2015/sept-15.html
  35. ^ http://lizardms.com/news/releases/2015/mar-08.html
  36. ^ 2015 24 Hours of Daytona Race Results

External links[edit]