Former ALMS GT champions Flying Lizard Motorsports and two-time defending PC class champions CORE autosport have confirmed their driver lineups for Petit Le Mans, the final round of the American Le Mans Series season.
Flying Lizard, which led the ALMS contingent of GT runners in second (the AF Corse Ferrari 458 was top overall in GT but was entered in the Intercontinental Le mans Cup), resumes with Patrick Pilet again joining Patrick Long and Jorg Bergmeister in the No. 45 as they did a year ago. Pilet has history with the team dating to 2008 and also competed in the team's GTE Am class entry at this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans.
In the second car, Nick Tandy makes his Lizard debut alongside Porsche factory ace Marco Holzer and team principal Seth Neiman. Although his ALMS experience is limited, Tandy's one of the top Porsche Supercup drivers (2011 Porsche Carrera Cup Germany) and is Holzer's teammate for Manthey Racing in the International GT Open.
Although the title is out of reach, the Lizards still have a mathematical shot at second place with the No. 45 car.
In PC, CORE adds Ricardo Gonzalez and Mark Wilkins alongside its full-season drivers. Gonzalez has raced in the P2 class this season for the Greaves Motorsport squad in the FIA World Endurance Championship (RIGHT), with a handful of starts in America for Level 5, while Wilkins returns to the PC class for the first time since 2010 – when he drove for Level 5 and won races at Sebring and Mazda Raceway. Gonzalez was one of three PC class co-champions for CORE a year ago.
Gonzalez partners Jon Bennett and Colin Braun in the No. 05 while Wilkins joins Alex Popow and Ryan Dalziel in the No. 06. Popow has alternated between Dalziel and Tom Kimber-Smith for full-season drivers, and Kimber-Smith will be at Petit but in one of the European Le Mans Series-entered P2 cars for Greaves.
The ALMS put out the first draft of the Petit Le Mans entry list on Wednesday, which will no doubt evolve over the next two weeks. It lists 43 total cars with 12 P1 and P2 combined entries, 15 in GT (3 in GTE Am, including the yet-to-be-announced lineup in Extreme Speed's No. 02 Ferrari 458), 15 Challenge class entries (8 PC, 7 GTC) and the Nissan DeltaWing, making its American racing debut with Gunnar Jeannette (Gonzalez's ALMS co-driver a year ago) and Lucas Ordonez (who has raced for Greaves in P2 this year).