SONOMA, Calif. — Flying Lizard Motorsports announced that the team will return for the 2012 American Le Mans Series season, fielding two 2012 Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs in the GT class.
Porsche factory drivers Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Long return to lead the No. 45 Flying Lizard Porsche in their fourth consecutive year driving together with the Lizards. Seth Neiman will pilot the No. 44, joined again by Porsche factory driver Marco Holzer for his second season with the team.
2012 is Flying Lizard’s ninth season of ALMS competition. 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. In 2011, Neiman and Holzer competed together in six ALMS races in the No. 44, finishing eighth and 10th, respectively, in the ALMS drivers’ standings.
The new Porsches will have their inaugural run at the ALMS Sebring Winter test Feb. 8-9 in Sebring, Fla. Developments to the RSR for 2012 include a wider body, increased front tire diameter and wider front and rear track width. Porsche has also modified the bodywork to optimize aerodynamics and added new air intake ducts to the rear quarter panel. The Porsche 911 GT3 RSR is powered by a six-cylinder boxer engine with a four-liter capacity.
“Porsche Motorsport North America is very proud of the efforts made by our colleagues in Weissach in creating the 2012 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, and we are pleased that Flying Lizard, which has been a successful Porsche customer team since 2004, has chosen us to partner with us to compete for the championship in the strongest GT class in the world,” said Jens Walther, President, Porsche Motorsports North America, Inc.
Flying Lizard chief strategist Thomas Blam commented on the coming year, “Porsche has pushed hard to deliver a new RSR for 2012. We’re optimistic about what we’ve seen so far; we’re looking forward to our first experience with the new car at Sebring. All signs point to an intensely competitive year in GT between Porsche, Ferrari, BMW, and Corvette. This is the first time since 2008 that the Lizards are not defending a championship title: our 2012 goal is to re-take both the driver and the team championships.”
Patrick Long added, “I’m very enthusiastic about this year. You learn a lot about yourself when the results don’t come and in 2011 we certainly had to pull together as a team to get through a tough season. The changes to the RSR and the momentum coming off of the end of 2011 (with a win at Laguna Seca and second place at Petit Le Mans) are strong starting points for 2012. I’m as excited heading into this racing year as I’ve ever been.”