Flying Lizard has unveiled a special commemorative livery for its Le Mans entries by Troy Lee.
Flying Lizard team principal and driver of the No. 81 Flying Lizard Porsche reflects on the team's six trips to Le Mans and explains why the Sonoma-based GT team will bring two cars for the first time this year.
Q: What has been your favorite Flying Lizard Motorsports moment at Le Mans thus far?
In 2006, in the middle of the night, I spent an hour in the gravel trap at the Dunlop Curve trying to get the car to restart. I was forced to rely on my background as an electronics engineer – tracing the problem, getting advice from the crew standing nearby – just trying to diagnose the problem and get back in the race. The entire time there were literally thousands of fans standing nearby, watching, and chanting "Lizard, Lizard, Lizard." A huge cheer erupted when I finally found the problem and got going again. Though not a great result for us, I will never forget that scene and the crowd.
Q: What's the one thing about Le Mans you look forward to every year?
There are so many things I love about Le Mans – the track, the excitement of the event itself, the Porsche Curves. But I think my favorite thing is the beauty of running at dawn – though the race is only half over, there really is nothing like coming under the Dunlop Bridge and seeing the first signs of light in the sky.
Q: What's the most underrated aspect of the week?
The drivers' parade. It really is a wild ride, and reminds us how much this event means to the city.
Q: Why bring two cars this year?
We are naturally put together as a two-car team, and things lined up this year to make it possible and sensible to run two cars.
Q: Who will be your biggest competition in each category (GTE Pro and GTE Am)?
The Felbermayr (Proton Competition) and Krohn cars will be strong in AM, and in Pro it's a very long list. The Corvettes were stunningly quick here last year, the BMWs seem to have an advantage this season in straightline speed, the Ferraris have a top driver lineup and a well-driven car, and the toughest Porsche competitors are all back. Should be a very strong class.
Q: How critical is it for excellent showings not just by the team, but by Porsche as well?
We both measure ourselves by the performance at Le Mans. It is a great test of the teams and the cars. For ALMS teams, Le Mans is often the first race of the year on a course that is similar to those that make up the bulk of our season (as is the case this year). It is an event to bring out our best.
Q: Better wine: France or Sonoma?
I am not gonna touch that one!!