Flying Lizard Motorsports have chosen a familiar quartet of drivers for their assault on the Daytona Prototype class of January's Rolex 24 at Daytona.
In confirming Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Long, Seth Neiman and Johannes van Overbeek as the drivers who will share the teams Riley-Porsche in the race Flying Lizard have reunited the team that finished second in the GT class for the Sonoma based team in the 2010 edition of the endurance race.
All four are also veterans of American Le Mans Series (ALMS) campaigns with the team. Bergmeister and Long won the GT class drivers' championship in 2010, while van Overbeek left the team before the 2010 ALMS season.
“I’m happy to head to Daytona again with Flying Lizard and Seth, Joerg, and Patrick,” says van Overbeek, who has eight Rolex 24 starts and a best finish of third overall. “It’s a nice change of pace to run a Porsche-powered Riley. Historically the level of competition at this race in the DP class has been extremely high and it should be a very exciting race.”
Bergmeister – who, like Long, is a Porsche works driver – is the most successful of the four in Grand-Am and Rolex 24 competition, twice having won the GT class (in 2002 and 2009, the latter with Patrick Long as a co-driver) and scoring overall victory in 2003. He won the Daytona Prototype class championship in 2006, a year in which he also won the ALMS title, making him the only driver to collect both titles in the same year.
“Daytona is good start to the year,” says Bergmiester. “It brings together great drivers, teams and cars from different series and classes. Last year, with this same driver lineup, we ran at the front of the pack; hopefully we can build on that to another podium finish this year. It’s fun to be back in a DP again. This is my first time in a Porsche Riley; the test went well and I think we learned a lot about the car- -it looks like it will be a good combination.”
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to go after the overall win at Daytona,” enthuses Long. “We have a group of talented drivers who are also good friends and there’s a strong camaraderie. It’s never an easy task here at Daytona, but we know what it will take and just have to get down to it. It’s been a few years since I’ve been in a DP, and this is also my first time in a Riley. The test last week [at Homestead-Miami] went smoothly: we were competitive and problem-free from the time we put it on the track; hopefully that’s indicative of how things will go in January.”
The team continues to acclimatise to the new car and class, the next step being a test session on January 7-9, which all four drivers will be part of.