Punctures were the order of the day for Flying Lizard Motorsports at Miller Motorsports Park, their lead no.45 car knocked back down the order on two separate occasions, thus a possible podium result turned into a fifth place finish.
“Lightning struck twice today and it was a rough race,” said Patrick Long, who shared the luckless Porsche with Joerg Bergmiester. “But the Lizard strategy and pit stops were phenomenal. We had twice as many pit stops as some of our competitors and still finished in the top five.”
Bergmeister had started the car from third and ran there for the first hour before the first puncture struck, dropping the German to sixth, largely thanks to the kind of pit work that drew Long's praise, with new tyres and extra fuel – hoping to gain some advantage from the misfortune.
And as other teams made their pitstops the Flying Lizard entry began to climb the standings, inheriting fourth when the no.61 Risi car pitted, then moving back up to third when the no.3 Corvette had to serve a stop-and-go penalty with half an hour remaining.
It was then, however, that the second puncture struck and though the rest of th car remained undamaged and the team where typically efficient in returning Patrick Long to the race in fifth place.
“It’s fair to say that we had a lot of bad luck this race,” said Bergmeister. “Pace- wise I think we had a podium car, but it just wasn’t to be. The No. 62 was really strong all weekend – congratulations to them on their win.”
The team's de facto second entry – the no.44 of Seth Neiman and Darren Law – started the race from eleventh and Law charged up the order early, handing the car off to team principal Neiman in fifth, who held position through his own stint, before pitting, for Law to take the car over for the final stretch.
However, in their haste to maintain pressure on those ahead the team picked up a pit lane speeding penalty, which undid all their good work up to that point Law dropping al the way back down to eleventh, where he was to finish.
“It was a tough day at the track for the Lizards,” Neiman summarised. “It seems like not much went right for us today out there. We knew we didn’t have the pace to run consistently with the Ferraris but that’s not a new situation and we felt that we were in the hunt for a podium. Unfortunately, luck was not with us today.”