“We had the quickest car out there for sure. In my stint, I had no problems pulling away from the rest of the field. It was very consistent from the beginning to the end of the stint so I could push the entire way. Even after the setbacks that we had, we will keep on pushing.”
Joerg Bergmeister's words sum up the Rolex 24 at Daytona for Flying Lizard Motorsports.
Starting from pole position German Bergmeister was able to romp away, setting the fastest lap of the entire race in the process. Bergmeister handed the car over to Patrick Long who also put the power of the Porsche engine to good use climbing from sixth to second, but the first of the “setbacks” Bergmeister refers to struck.
Seth Neiman – at the wheel of the Porsche-Riley – was forced onto the grass to avoid an incident ahead, but the trip across the infield damaged the car's radiators and front bodywork forcing Neiman to pull the car into the garage for repaits that would lose the team 19 laps and any realistic chance of victory.
Back on track the team hauled themselves back to eleventh, passing the slower GT class cars and any other Daytona Prototypes who dropped out after their own troubles. But, perhaps fittingly with Bergmeister at the wheel after his early heroics, the Flying Lizard's Rolex 24 came to an end, as Neiman – the team principal – explains.
“At the end of his final stint, Joerg lost drive, and there was a small fire in the engine bay. He’s fine, but the car was done. We don’t really know what happened yet, but at this point it seems likely that there was more damage than we realized from the incidents early in the race. The entire team did a fantastic job this weekend – from preparing the car to qualifying on the pole to running an extremely hard, consistent race.”