Flying Lizard Motorsports came out of its first test with its new Porsche-powered Riley Daytona Prototype upbeat about its prospects for the upcoming Rolex 24 At Daytona, Jan. 29-30. Drivers Jorg Bergmeister, Patrick Long, Seth Neiman and Johannes van Overbeek all took part in the three-day "Roar Before the 24" test, and were enthusiastic about the new opportunity.
"I'm pleased with the progress that we made over the weekend in tuning the car," said Long. "It's been a steep learning curve to come right into it with a brand-new car, but we definitely met our test objectives. We still have more on our list to try during race week; we're leaving today feeling optimistic that we'll have a solid racecar for the 24."
Flying Lizard chief engineer Craig Watkins added: "This is our first time running a Daytona Prototype, so there is a lot that's new. It took some time at the beginning for us to get to know the car and to integrate the new crew that we have for this race. We got off to a slow start, but once we got our arms around the car, we progressed steadily over the sessions. We're thrilled to be here."
Bergmeister and Long have driven together in the Flying Lizard No. 45 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in the American Le Mans Series for the last two seasons. Bergmeister is five-time ALMS GT drivers' champion (2005-2006 and 2008-2010); three of those titles were driving with Flying Lizard (2008 through 2010). Bergmeister is the only driver in Grand-Am and ALMS history to win the championship in both series in the same year (2006). Long has won the ALMS GT drivers' title three times, all with Bergmeister: 2005, and 2009-'10.
"We had a good three days and saw the car get better and better in each session," related Bergmeister. "We also worked a lot on driver comfort and driver changes, getting everything sorted out so we'll have one less thing to worry about during race week. By the last few sessions, we were fairly competitive – it's definitely going to be an interesting race."