In yesterday’s Petit Le Mans Powered By Mazda, Flying Lizard Motorsports finished 1st and 5th, wrapping up the GTC team championship along the way. Starting 8th in class, the PR Newswire / eSilicon No 44 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car was able to improve three positions from its starting position during the nine and a half hour race, overcoming a broken engine drive belt and a trip into the gravel to score 4th place points, as one of its competitors did not meet minimum drive time rules. Seth Neiman, Dion von Moltke, and Brett Sandberg shared driving duties in the car, each driving between two and a half and four hours in the process. The sister Venezuela / eSilicon / Universal Industrial Sales No 45 started from pole, had the fastest race lap, and took the class win. Drivers Nelson Canache Jr. and Spencer Pumpelly were joined by Madison Snow for the race, with Nelson taking Rookie Driver of the Year honors for the American Le Mans Series and Nelson and Spencer sharing 2nd place in the GTC driver championship.
Spencer talked about the No 45’s race, saying “It was a terrific end to a long season of ups and downs. The race started out in tricky conditions weather-wise. On and off drizzle kept us guessing on tire choice during the first 4 hours, but Nelson and Madison both rose to the challenge. Nelson opened up a healthy lead in his first stint in drying conditions and held that lead until an untimely yellow came out just as we were about to pit. This forced us to come in for a splash of fuel under a closed pits, and the rules require that you come back in after the GT pit opening, so we ended up at the end of the GTC lead lap pack. Madison made up for some of the lost positions and then Nelson again charged to the front, leading Damien Faulkner in the No 66 with 4 hours to go. When Madison got back in for his final stint the 66 car had just re-taken the lead and Madison went to work. He passed the 66 for the lead and then held off a hard charging Jeroen Bleekemolen for his entire stint. When I got in for my final stint I was hoping for an easy cruise to the finish in the lead that Nelson and Madison had given me but that would not be the case. A late yellow put Andy Lally and Jan Heylen back on the lead lap. In the closing laps Andy made a late charge but our 45 car was strong enough to hold him off for the win. Finishing the year with a win in the final ALMS race feels great.”
Nelson added, “Winning Petit Le Mans is really special, and we showed in this race how strong the team can be when Lady Luck is on our side. We had the best car out there today and I had such great teammates and co-drivers. I enjoyed all of the battles I had during my stints, with such great professional drivers like Damien. Madison and Spencer did an awesome job and made no mistakes, the crew guys did a perfect job getting the car race ready and in the pits, along with Thomas Blam’s work on engineering and strategy. To close out the team championship, 2nd in drivers points, and rookie of the year in the last season of the American Le Mans Series is so special.”
Flying Lizard will announce its 2014 program in the coming weeks, and return to the track in mid-November for the Sebring and Daytona tests with the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
Source. Flying Lizard Motorsports