TEAM RELEASE: Flying Lizard Motorsports Salvages Results at Continental Tire Road Race Showcase
The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race at Road America was much kinder to the Flying Lizard team than the race weekend had been leading up to the 1:15pm race start time. The No. 35 Spyder / PR Newswire / UBM Tech / eSilicon Audi R8 LMS of Andrew Palmer (USA) and Dion von Moltke (South Africa) didn’t enjoy a single trouble-free session over the three days, with practices marred by on-track incidents, suspension issues, an engine fire, and red flags. In fact, the car was unable to even earn a grid spot due to the engine fire occurring in the practice immediately prior to qualifying, meaning that the team started from 46th overall and 14th in the GT Daytona class for the race. The No. 45 Yoddle / Venezuela / eSilicon No. 45 Audi R8 LMS of Nelson Canache Jr. (Venezuela) and Spencer Pumpelly (USA) had a much better set of practice sessions compared to the sister No. 35, but was only able to muster a 12th place qualifying effort on the long straightaways of Road America, which do not favor the Audi R8 LMS in the current configuration in which the series requires it to race.
Nelson started the No. 45 car but was the victim of the first of two flat tires which the car would suffer, moving him to the back of the GTD lead lap pack. He was able to get the car in quickly however and stay on the lead lap, leaving Spencer in 10th place after the driver change. He the made up three spots before the ensuing caution, in which the team was able to leapfrog two more competitors and get the No. 45 out in 5th place. Spencer suffered the car’s second flat tire of the race, dropping him back to 10th place, from which he was again able to work back up to 7th place by the finish.
Andrew had an eventful first stint in the No. 35, showing tremendous speed and marching up through the field. He was slowed when, on a restart, the field accordianed several times, resulting in damage to the front of the car when the cars ahead suddenly stopped even as the flagger threw the green flag. Despite the contact, he made up three positions in the melee and proceeded to turn lap times competitive with the front of the GTD class, even with significant front bodywork damage. Dion took over from the back of the lead lap in class for his stints, starting out 15 seconds behind the 9th place car, and too drove through the field, ending up in 8th place for the checkered flag.
Driver Quote: Andrew Palmer, No. 35:
“Wow! What a roller coaster of a weekend. It seems luck was not on our side, but the FLM team did a great job to keep the car running and get us an 8th place finish. I definitely learned a huge amount this weekend and feel ready for anything endurance racing may throw at me in the future. Dion was a great teammate and everyone helped me so much to get up to speed with the car. I think I left a little bit out there, but that’s why there is a next time! ”
Flying Lizard has three races remaining in the 2014 TUDOR season, and with the Oak Tree Grand Prix at Virginia International Raceway, the team will have the last of the back-to-back-toback races which began with Watkins Glen four races ago. The Oak Tree Grand Prix will be an all-GT affair, with only the GT Daytona and GT Le Mans classes competing in the two hour and forty five minute race on August 24th.
About Flying Lizard Motorsports
Flying Lizard is based on Sonoma, California, and has competed in the American Le Mans Series for ten consecutive seasons, from 2004 to 2012 in the GT class and in 2013 in GTC. The Lizards have won two ALMS GT team championships (2008 and 2009), one ALMS GTC team championship (2013), and have secured three ALMS GT Drivers’ championships (2008, 2009, and 2010).
Flying Lizard has also competed in the 24 Heures du Mans from 2005 through 2012, finishing third in 2005, fourth in 2006, sixth in 2008, sixth in 2011, and fourth in 2012.
About Audi of America and the Audi R8 LMS
Audi began a new chapter in 2009 with the introduction of the Audi Sport customer racing program. For the first time it was possible for motorsport customers to acquire a race car designed for customer racing events. Since its inception, the success of the R8 LMS has been significant throughout the GT3 racing format worldwide, including victory in the GT class in the 2013 edition of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The Audi R8 LMS shares more than 50% of its parts with the Audi R8 street car including the naturally aspirated V10 5.2 Liter engine, the Audi Space Frame and a variety of other components.
Audi of America, Inc. and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands globally. Audi was a top-performing luxury brand in Europe during 2012, and broke all-time company sales records in the U.S. Through 2016, AUDI AG will invest about $17 billion on new products and technologies.