Pilet puts the Flying Lizard No. 79 on GTE Am Pole
Le Mans - 24 Heures du Mans - Le Mans, France
Porsche factory driver and French national Patrick Pilet set the fastest time in GTE Am this week over the three qualifying sessions for the 24 Heures du Mans. The time of 3:57.594, set in the first qualifying session Wednesday afternoon, was the fastest in GTE Am and the No. 79 of Pilet, Seth Neiman (USA), and Spencer Pumpelly (USA) will start on the pole for Saturday's race. The No. 80 Porsche of Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Long and Marco Holzer will start seventh on the GTE Pro grid.
Pilet commented, "The team did an excellent job preparing the car for quali. When I drove the Porsche on Wednesday it was very balanced; we were able to make some small adjustments in the morning session, then in qualifying, with new tires, I was able to push for my fast lap. Everything has been well planned and we've had few problems. In Thursday's sessions we were able to make sure everyone had enough seat time; we accomplished everything we needed to do over the two days."
The No. 80, which used the Wednesday qualifying session for race setup, encountered bad luck Thursday when a driveline component failed during the second qualifying session. The No. 80 was back out again quickly following the repair, but returned to the garage shortly after for the crew to replace the accelerometer, which was required for optimal traction control. Chief strategist Thomas Blam commented, "The issues at the start of the Thursday session definitely set us back. We had planned on going for our qualifying time in the third and final session, but instead had to continue working on our race setup. However the drivers are pretty happy with the balance of the car and feel that we'll have a solid racecar for the weekend."
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.
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.
The privateer team is based in Sonoma, California.
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