Flying Lizards Look For “Mo” at Laguna Seca

May 15, 2010

Flying Lizards Look For “Mo” at Laguna Seca

May 15, 2010

Chief Lizard Seth Neiman would like to add a victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans to the Lizard's Legend. Photo credit: Rick Dole

Momentum is a beautiful thing and here at the third stop of the 2010 American Le Mans Series the team carrying the most momentum is looking for even more. Since entering American Le Mans Series competition in 2004, team founder Seth Neiman’s Sonoma-based Flying Lizard squad has compiled a stunning record of success.

With 16 wins, including past triumphs in the series cornerstone events, the Twelve Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans, the Lizards have won at nearly every stop on the ALMS circuit. Paced by Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Long, the Lizards claimed both the 2008 and 2009 ALMS GT2 championships. 

Meanwhile, Neiman and car #44 co-drivers Darren Law and Johannes van Overbeek claimed the inaugural 2009 MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge GT championship and the pair of Flying Lizard entries hold a record six victories in America’s premier environmental competition.

Fresh from a victory in the recent Long Beach Grand Prix, the #45 Flying Lizard Porsche of Bergmeister and Long arrives at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca as the defending race champions. They are also the 2010 ALMS GT championship co-leaders with the Risi Competizione Ferrari of Jaime Melo and Gianmaria Bruni.

Yet there is just one thing missing. The hole in the proverbial Flying Lizard’s donut is a victory at the Big Kahuna of sports car racing, the next race, 24 Hours of Le Mans. Some momentum from Laguna Seca may help take them over the top. There is no question that the Lizards have what it takes to win at Le Mans just as they win here in the ALMS.

They are a talented, experienced and well-managed team, and a lead technical partner with Porsche, which has built its racing heritage in large part upon its success at Le Mans. The pieces of the Le Mans puzzle are seemingly all ready for assembly in Lizardland.

It will not be easy. Le Mans never is, especially this year. The traditional Porsche v. Ferrari battle, where the rival Risi Ferrari team has taken the wins the past two years, is of course still there with each manufacturer expanding its line-up with top international teams.

Adding to the challenge, the battle here at Laguna Seca and at Le Mans is an expanded war in 2010, as the legendary Corvette Racing team moves into the GT class and powerful factory efforts from BMW and Jaguar join the fray.

As the clock ticks down here at Laguna Seca, the hourglass fills for thenext stop, Le Mans.

Following the race, the cars of the Le Mans bound teams will be quickly turned and shipped to the Circuit de la Sarthe. A victory here would provide even more momentum and confidence.

The trophy case at Lizard HQ is filled with the symbols of its success; and there is certainly a special place ready for the Big Kahuna.

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