By Law: End of Petit Le Mans marks beginning of 2011 season

By Law: Reflections on Petit Le Mans 1
The #45 GT3 RSR of Flying Lizard Motorsports won its third consecutive drivers' championship at the end of the 2010 ALMS season. Photo by Bob Chapman

Our 2010 season ended on a high note, as the Flying Lizard Motorsports team won its third-consecutive GT2 championship and both cars finished the Petit Le Mans in the top-10 in class!

It was a wet race week — we were rained out for almost every session. As we neared the final practice session and qualifying on Friday, we really wanted to get my co-driver, Seth Neiman, some lap time, so he ran both sessions, and qualified the car fourteenth.

Other than our two days off after the weekend test, where we went out and had some fun one night, the rest of the week was fairly quiet. But I had a lot of fun racing with Marco Holzer, one of the Porsche junior drivers, who joined us for this race. As he was new to the team (for this race only), we didn’t let him escape a week with the Flying Lizards unscathed. There was a lot of joking around and many pictures and comments documenting the week made it onto Facebook.

Race day was super busy — we had discussions and speeches at Porsche Platz and at Porsche hospitality, we had autograph sessions … it was nonstop! And then we finally got to race.

We had a decent car; we were happy with everything after the morning warm-up on race day. I did the first race stint. After an hour and a half, we’d moved up to eighth. I brought the car in and we rotated through with Seth and then Marco, staying inside the top 10 for most of the race. It was a fairly uneventful race for us, which is to say it went very well.

We had no problems, but traffic was very difficult. I thought we would run into a lot of issues with the Peugeots and the Audis, but actually they were probably the best of the prototypes. They were so much faster than all of us that they got by us quickly and it really wasn’t an issue. It was more the LMP Challenge and the GT Challenge cars that made it tough. Our lap times would vary by as much as four seconds per lap depending on who we got stuck behind.

But all in all, it was a good race. Our #44 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR ran well and finished ninth in GT2. The #45 finished only a couple of spots ahead of us, but it’s what they needed to do to win the driver championship. That’s three championships in the last three years for the Flying Lizard team!

We celebrated Saturday night but now it’s time to start planning for 2011. I’ll keep you all updated.

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