This year, Flying Lizard Motorsports celebrates its 15th anniversary in sports car racing, returning for a second season in the Pirelli World Challenge. The 2018 season kicks off this weekend at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, a festival of racing on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida. Flying Lizard Motorsports will be returning with a pair of brand new Audi R8 LMS GT4 cars, driven by Mike Hedlund and Adam Merzon.
“We’re so excited to celebrate our 15th anniversary with new drivers and new cars,” said Program Manager and Team Principal Darren Law. “Mike and Adam are excellent additions to our team, and we’re ready to have an exciting race season. With limited track time and unforgiving concrete walls, St. Petersburg can a challenging event, so it’s important for us to perform well and keep the cars clean.”
As with any temporary street course, such as St. Petersburg, the track can dramatically change from year to year, based on the wear and tear of the roads as well as any changes the track officials deem necessary. The 14-turn, 1.8 mile course has little runoff area, making car set up and driver precision absolutely vital to the competitor’s success during the weekend. Both Audi R8 LMS GT4s will have to be quick in transition through the chicane like turns, the high speed kink, and the decreasing radius left hander. This weekend, Flying Lizard Motorsports engineer Jim Bell will keep his sights set on keeping the rear tidy, and the front of the car quick.
Upon taking delivery of the second car last month, the team tested for two days at VIRginia International Raceway, running in both dry and wet conditions. The test allowed for the drivers and team to get acquainted with the new machines in preparation for the double header season opener.
“I can’t wait to kick off our Pirelli World Challenge season in St. Petersburg,” said Mike Hedlund. “We’ve had productive testing with the new Audi R8 GT4 and now it’s time to see what we can do versus the competition. After a podium last year here in St. Petersburg, my personal expectations are high and we’ll be aiming to be back on the podium by the end of the weekend. With a huge and competitive grid, it should be lots of fun for us drivers and entertaining to everyone watching!”
“Having finally driven the Audi R8 LMS GT4 in preseason testing, I’m even more excited for St. Petersburg,” said Adam Merzon. “The Flying Lizard crew is top tier and it’s easy to see why they have the reputation that they do. I’m hopeful we can keep our awesome Case-it Audi clean and to collect as many points as possible.”
This year, Flying Lizard will be entering into its fifth year under the ownership of Darren Law, Thomas Blam, and Tommy Sadler, continuing its expansion as a customer racing program.
Rounds 1 and 2 of the Pirelli World Challenge will take place on Saturday, March 10, and Sunday March 11, with both races streaming live on world-challenge.com. For schedule information, visit world-challenge.com.
Source. Flying Lizard Motorsports