Flying Lizard Announces 2013 GTC Racing Plan and Customer Program
Flying Lizard Motorsports announced today that the team will run the No. 44 Flying Lizard Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n GT Challenge class in 2013 with drivers Seth Neiman and Spencer Pumpelly. In addition, for the first time in its history, Flying Lizard is introducing a customer program for Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars.
"We're excited to race in GTC in 2013," team manager Eric Ingraham explained. "Moving to GTC also gives us the opportunity to share our Porsche experience with customers who want to race professionally in either the ALMS GTC or IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge series."
"In this production-based class all teams run a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, so there are no manufacturer differences and the GTC rules mandate more spec features than in GT," Ingraham added. "This offers a level playing field that is still extremely competitive: to succeed, teams must differentiate through driving performance, race strategy, pit stops, car setup and thorough preparation."
From 2004 through 2012, Flying Lizard competed in the ALMS GT class. Last month, Porsche announced the end of development of the 911 GT3 RSR (type 997). "With the end of Porsche developmental support for the 997, it was clear that we needed to do something different for 2013. The team wants to continue to race competitively and GTC was a logical choice given our long history with 911s," Ingraham said. "A customer program is complementary: it allows both the team and potential customers to benefit from the efficiencies of a multi-car team and leverage our Porsche experience."
The current Flying Lizard management team will transition to the GTC program, including Ingraham, chief strategist Thomas Blam and crew chief Tommy Sadler.
"We see a tremendous opportunity in GTC," said Blam. "Experienced teams like Alex Job Racing, The Racers' Group, and JDX have created a successful blueprint for competing in GTC, and have helped grow the field of professional drivers. It will be a new experience for us on many levels and we have a lot to learn, but we're looking forward to the challenge."
In 2013, drivers Neiman and Pumpelly will partner in the No. 44 Flying Lizard Porsche for their first full season. The two drove together at the 24 Heures du Mans in 2011 and 2012 in the No. 81 and No. 79 Flying Lizard Porsches, respectively. Pumpelly has competed in ALMS events since 1999, including the full 2012 GTC season in which he finished third in the drivers' championship (with The Racer's Group). He has also competed in Grand-Am for the last six years (also with TRG). Pumpelly has won twice in GT at the Rolex 24 at Daytona (2011 and 2006) and finished second and third in 2009 and 2008, respectively. Neiman has raced in the No. 44 Flying Lizard Porsche in the ALMS since 2004. In 2012, he finished 10th in the GT drivers' championship.
"I'm excited about starting this new chapter with the Lizards in the GTC class," Pumpelly said. "I've been fortunate to have raced with Seth and the entire team at Le Mans twice now and I have nothing but confidence in their abilities. Having raced in the GTC for the past several years, I know how competitive the class is. The team's storied history with Porsche and their committed group of people will be a big advantage when it comes to making the transition."
The 2013 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n season kicks off with the 61st running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida, set for Saturday, March 16, at Sebring International Raceway. For information on tickets and accommodations, visit www.sebringraceway.com.