LAW PRESS RELEASES - 2012
MAY 9, 2012
FLYING LIZARD ANNOUNCES 2012 LE MANS DRIVER LINEUPS NO. 80: BERGMEISTER, LONG AND HOLZER: NO. 79: NEIMAN, PUMPELLY AND LAW
May 9, 2012 – Sonoma, California – Flying Lizard announced today the preliminary driver lineups for the 2012 24 Heures du Mans, to be run June 16-17 at the Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, France. Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Patrick Long (USA) and Marco Holzer (Germany) will run the Flying Lizard No. 80 2012 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in the GTE Pro class. Seth Neiman (USA), Spencer Pumpelly (USA), and Darren Law (USA) will pilot the Flying Lizard No. 79 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in the GTE Am class. (All six drivers are confirmed, however details of Law's participation are still to be finalized.)
Bergmeister, Long and Holzer are Porsche factory drivers. Bergmeister and Long team in the Flying Lizard No. 45 Porsche in the American Le Mans Series. With Flying Lizard, Bergmeister has won three consecutive ALMS GT driver championships (2008-2010); two of those with Patrick Long (2009- 2010). Bergmeister is five-time ALMS GT driver champion and Long has won the title three times. Bergmeister has competed at Le Mans ten times; five years with Flying Lizard (2007-2011). He won Le Mans in GT2 in 2004 (with Long) and has finished on the podium three times. Bergmeister has also won the Rolex 24 at Daytona three times: GT in 2009, both GT and overall in 2003 and GT in 2002.
Long has competed at Le Mans eight times and has won the race twice in GT (2004 and 2007). In 2011, Long and Bergmeister finished sixth in GTE Pro in the No. 80 Flying Lizard Porsche (with Lucas Luhr). Among other notable results, Long has won Daytona in 2009, Petit Le Mans three times (2005-2007) and Sebring in 2005.
Holzer, also a Porsche factory driver, will join the Lizards in 2012. This is Holzer's third Le Mans: he finished third in GT in 2010 and eighth in GTE Pro in 2011. In the ALMS, Holzer pilots the No. 44 Flying Lizard Porsche with Seth Neiman.
In the No. 79 Porsche, Law, Neiman and Pumpelly will team up for the second consecutive Le Mans together in the GTE Am class. In 2011, the No. 81 Porsche was retired at hour 18 due to a mechanical problem; it was running second in class at the time. 2012 will be Neiman's eighth Le Mans entry; in 2005 he finished third in class in the Flying Lizard No. 80 (with Johannes van Overbeek and Lonnie Pechnik). Among his distance race results, Neiman has finished second in class twice at Daytona (2010 and 2004) and second at Sebring in 2008.
Law has competed three times at Le Mans, all with Flying Lizard. In 2009, Law won overall at the 2009 Rolex 24 at Daytona; notable ALMS results include second at Sebring (with Neiman and Alex Davison) in 2008 in the No. 44, second in GT2 at Long Beach and Detroit (with Long) in 2007, and six podiums in 2004 including a win at Mid-Ohio.
For the last six years, Pumpelly has competed in the Grand-Am Series with The Racer's Group. He has won twice in GT at the Rolex 24 at Daytona (2011 and 2006) and finished second and third in 2009 and 2008, respectively. In the American Le Mans Series, Pumpelly has competed in events since 1999. In the 2011 ALMS GTC season, he had three class wins.
Patrick Long, Driver No. 80 Porsche: "2012 will be my ninth run at Le Mans and my fourth time with the Lizards. It's an honor to be able to take part in this prestigious event; it's by far the most festive and followed race that we compete in. Our results here over the last few years haven't been what we wanted; we are hoping to have a problem-free race this year. Straightline speed at Le Mans is important, obviously, but the downforce and the speed that you carry through the Porsches curves can play just as much of a role as being trimmed out."
"Every year Le Mans is a special experience. One of my favorite parts of race week is being able to connect with fans from all over the world at the driver parade and during the open pit walk on Friday. You meet people who don't usually see the inside of the racetrack but are very knowledgeable and informed about sports car racing. It's an incredible event and I can't wait to get back on track with the Lizards at the test day."
Thomas Blam, Chief Strategist: "In 2011, both cars had a good run and a chance to finish at the front of the class. Of course, the mechanical issues with the No. 81 were disappointing; the car was very strong and they had led in class for a lot of the race. The No. 80 also had some mechanical problems which pushed them out of a potential podium. One thing we know about Le Mans: with so many good teams and cars you simply can't afford any missteps."
"I'm pleased that we'll have the opportunity to have two cars again this year. The Pro field is extremely strong again this year, but is smaller than in 2011. On the Am side, the level of the teams and the number of cars have increased since last year and that field is also going to be highly competitive. Our driver roster is again very strong: all six drivers have substantial long-race experience, deep resumes from Le Mans, and a lot of experience driving together."
Follow the Lizards
The 24 Heures du Mans will get the green flag at 15.00h CET (6:00 am PT) on Saturday June 16. The race will be broadcast live in its entirety on Eurosport in Europe and SpeedTV will offer partial coverage in the United States. Radio Le Mans will broadcast live radio in English. Flying Lizard will broadcast the team radio live throughout the race; read the team race blog for frequent team updates at www.lizardms.com. The team will also participate in the official test day at Le Mans on June 3.
About Flying Lizard Motorsports
Flying Lizard returns to the American Le Mans Series for their ninth season and the fourth consecutive season for Bergmeister and Long together in the No. 45. The Lizards have won two ALMS GT team championships (2008 and 2009) and have finished in the top three each year since 2004. The team has secured three ALMS GT drivers' championships: Bergmeister and Long took the title together in 2009 and 2010 and Bergmeister with Wolf Henzler in 2008. Bergmeister is five-time ALMS GT drivers' champion (2005-2006 and 2008-2010) and Long has won the title three times (2005, and 2009-2010), all with Bergmeister. Bergmeister is the only driver in Grand-Am and ALMS history to win the championship in both series in the same year (2006).
Flying Lizard has also competed in the 24 Heures du Mans from 2005 through 2011, finishing third in 2005, fourth in 2006, sixth in 2008, and sixth in 2011.
Visit the team website at www.lizardms.com. For the latest team racing apparel and Porsche gear visit the Flying Lizard stores online and in the paddock.
The privateer team is based in Sonoma, California.