Flying Lizard Motorsports Secures Championship Titles at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Finale Weekend
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., (October 11, 2023) – The 2023 SRO America race season came to a close last weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Flying Lizard Motorsports celebrated the success of its twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth professional sports car racing team and driver championship titles. The finale race weekend was anything but dull, and the team’s three Aston Martin Vantage GT4 cars, driven by Jason Bell, Michael Cooper, Elias Sabo, Andy Lee, Todd Parriott, and Tom Dyer celebrated great success with the team at the GT America powered by AWS and Pirelli GT4 America finale weekend.
“This was a wild weekend with a lot on the line for our drivers and the team,” said Program Manager Darren Law. “GT4 racing is so competitive and with the points as tight as they were, you can’t go into a weekend without some stress. In the end, we had some damage but Jason Bell drove so well and secured the drivers’ championship, Elias and Andy came home third in their drivers’ championship, amd we won the team championships in both GT America and GT4 America. Our new customer Todd Parriott and Tom Dyer put in strong performances and showed great potential. You can’t ask for much more than that. The team works so well together, and I am very proud of all we have accomplished this year, we are already starting on 2024!”
GT America Race One
Due to the rained-out practice sessions the day before, Friday’s qualifying and race sessions produced the majority of the laps the competitors had run all weekend. Points leader Jason Bell started GT America race one from second place, sharing the front row with Gray Newell in the No. 25 car. Rob Holland, Bell’s main championship contender started race one in third place from the second row next to Ross Chouest. Flying Lizard newcomer Todd Parriott started his No. 13 Aston Martin Vantage from seventh place behind Tony Gaples. After a clean opening pair of laps, Bell had a clean run down the front straight past Newell and dove into turn one as the GT4 class leader. Newell slipped to third place as Holland slid past, and the two championship rivals raced nose to tail until Holland took the lead position with just two laps to go. Jason Bell finished in second place, with just nine points ahead of Holland in the point standings. Todd Parriott had a clean opening race on Friday afternoon, coming in eighth place in his race debut with the team. Bell’s strong finish helped Flying Lizard secure the team championship celebrating its 13th professional sports car racing championship.
GT America Race Two
With the GT America team title already secured, the team entered Sunday’s GT America race determined to also lock in Bell’s championship driver title. The GT3 field took the green flag first, with multiple cars spinning in turn one. The mess had not cleared by the time the GT4 field roared by, but the Lizard drivers made it through with caution. Polesitter Robb Holland continued to lead Bell, as Parriott ran clean in fourth place. Holland and Bell engaged in a tight battle for the lead position, and although Bell had the faster pace, he wisely took no risk in passing the leader, but waited for the right opportunity to present itself. Bell and Holland ran nose to tail for the entire race with Chouest closing in running in third place. There were tense moments as the championship was on the line and one slip up by any of the drivers would quickly determine the end of someone’s championship efforts. In the end, Bell held position, finishing the race in second place, and the three cars would cross the line just tenths of seconds apart. Bell was then able to secure the 2023 championship title. Parriott put together a strong performance in his last GT America race of the season, finishing in seventh place.
GT4 America Race One
As Flying Lizard and its trio of cars began GT4 America race one, the group led the team points, with Jason Bell starting the race from third in class. Elias Sabo took the green flag from a row back in fifth place, with Todd Parriott starting from 12th place. Calamity on the start set the tone for the race ahead, as later in the lap, Jason Bell’s Aston Martin was forced spinning off track. A full course caution allowed him to rejoin without losing too much ground, but after the restart, the No. 2 Aston Martin would be taken out of the race for good. Sabo worked his way up to fifth, while Parriott continued further back. With 31 minutes remaining on the race clock, the pair pitted, and Lee and Dyer took over. Lee climbed to fourth as the No. 68 car had contact and spun, and he quickly engaged in a battle with the No. 7 of Kay van Berlo for the final podium position. Lee won the battle, and sailed to the checkered flag, as Dyer cruised to a seventh-place finish.
GT4 America Race Two
The team started the final race with an 18-point lead over Bimmerworld and a 19-point lead over NOLASPORT, feeling optimistic with Michael Cooper and the No. 2 Aston Martin starting from pole position. Andy Lee and the No. 8 Aston Martin started from seventh, with the No. 13 Aston Martin of Tom Dyer starting one row back in ninth. Similarly to the GT America start the earlier in the morning, turn one hosted another batch of spinning cars on the start. Cooper avoided contact and held on to second place on the start, while Lee moved up to sixth. Dyer suffered hard contact from behind, but was able to continue. A restart after an early full course caution brought misfortune as the No. 2 was hit and forced off course. He rejoined in eighth place, while the team’s championship hopes fell on the shoulders of Lee in fifth place. Before Cooper could finish the lap, he was punted again, and retired due to a bent tie rod. Bad luck then went after the No. 13 of Dyer when the car had a collision with the No. 67 of Joey DaSilva. Everyone pitted at the halfway point, and driver changes commenced. Sabo took over from Lee, and Parriott from Dyer. Taking extra caution to avoid any of the carnage that plagued the first half of the race, Sabo wisely navigated traffic, maneuvering his way around the road course, keeping the team in the position to claim the championship title. Parriott expertly did the same, bringing the car home in tenth place, gathering valuable experience in a chaos-filled event. In the end, Sabo’s eighth place finish was enough to get it done, and Flying Lizard celebrated its 14th professional sports car racing team championship, its third of the weekend.
Flying Lizard has just one race event left in the 2023 season, the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America World Finals in Italy at the Vallelunga Circuit, November 16-17.