Round 8 of the American Le Mans Series gets underway this weekend and the crew of Flying Lizard Motorsports is primed. The Lizard driver lineup for the six-hour race on Sept. 17 is Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Long in the No. 45 and Seth Neiman and Marco Holzerin the No. 44. Bergmeister and Long are sixth in the ALMS GT drivers championship with 51 points, Neiman is ninth and Holzer is tenth. Dirk Mueller and Joey Hand of the No. 56 BMW lead with 124 points. Flying Lizard is fifth in the team championship. There are 55 points remaining: 25 at Laguna Seca and 30 at Petit Le Mans.
For the Northern California based Lizards, the 2.238 mile, 11-turn Laguna Seca circuit is the closest to a home track on the ALMS schedule. Flying Lizard chief engineer Craig Watkins discussed setting up the Porsches, “One of the biggest setup challenges here is that the track has very low mechanical grip and it’s hard to get the heat into the tires. The driver has to be more aggressive with the car during the period of poor handling while the tires come up. To help with this we’ll add downforce which will generate more heat and pressure in the tires and help performance in the fast turns. In the slow-speed turns like Turn 2 and Turn 11, the rear-engine 911s are especially good at getting the power down without invasive traction control or requiring that the driver be gentle on the throttle.”
Watkins continued, “The Porsches have historically been very reliable in the long distance races. Hopefully we’ve used up our bad luck this season and will have a solid result here with both Porsches. We aren’t in contention for the championship win, but need to put as many points on the board as we can to help Porsche in their hunt for the manufacturers’ title.”