Flying Lizard Motorsports will switch from the GT class of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) next year, instead entering the lower GT Challenge (GTC) class with a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup for drivers Seth Neiman and Spencer Pumpelly.
The team – for the first time – will also operate a customer program for drivers wishing to either join them in the GTC class of the ALMS of the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge series, a single make series for the Porsche race cars.
Flying Lizard Motorsports have been regular competitors in the GT class of the ALMS and the 24 Hours of Le Mans since 2004, winning the ALMS GT2 class title in both 2008 and 2009, helping secure a pair of drivers’ titles for Jorg Bergmeister and a title each for Wolf Henzler and Patrick Long, who has become the long-term co-driver to Bergmeister at the team.
“We’re excited to race in GTC in 2013,” said team manager Eric Ingraham. “In this production-based class all teams run a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, so there are no manufacturer differences and the GTC rules mandate more spec features than in GT, This offers a level playing field that is still extremely competitive: to succeed, teams must differentiate through driving performance, race strategy, pit stops, car setup and thorough preparation.”
“With the end of Porsche developmental support for the 997, it was clear that we needed to do something different for 2013. The team wants to continue to race competitively and GTC was a logical choice given our long history with 911s.”
The 2013 driver line-up will bring Pumpelly into Flying Lizard’s ALMS plans for the first time. The American has been a regular driver with TRG in GTC class of the ALMS, as well as the GT class of the Grand-Am Rolex Series. Only twice has Pumpelly driven for the Sonoma based team, co-driving alongside Neiman in the LMGTE Am class of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in both 2011 and 2012.
“I’m excited about starting this new chapter with the Lizards in the GTC class,” Pumpelly said. “I’ve been fortunate to have raced with Seth and the entire team at Le Mans twice now and I have nothing but confidence in their abilities. Having raced in the GTC for the past several years, I know how competitive the class is. The team’s storied history with Porsche and their committed group of people will be a big advantage when it comes to making the transition.”