Crash.Net ALMS News
Lizards equal ALMS record at Mid-Ohio
9 August 2009
The Flying Lizards team has equalled a record in the American Le Mans Series after the #45 of Jorg Bergmeister and Patrick Long picked up a fifth successive win at Mid-Ohio.
The pair were able to lead the GT2 class from start-to-finish as Porsche secured another victory despite the addition of the factory Corvette team to the battle for the first time this season.
Key to the team's success was the decision not to pit for fuel late on in the race when a number of GT2 rivals dived onto pitroad for a splash and dash, allowing Long to come home ahead of the #3 Corvette and the first of the Rahal Letterman Racing BMW M3s.
Victory was made all the more sweet as it came despite a clutch issue on the car, with Long forced to run without the clutch for much of his time at the wheel.
"When I got in the car after Jorg's stint, thought I might have lost clutch pressure,” he said, “so to be safe, I shifted without a clutch for most of the stint, just to be sure we had enough at the end. Then at turn five, I had a NASCAR moment when two challenge cars got together in the Apex and spun into the racing line. With two prototypes on the inside, luckily we all managed to weave through without colliding.
"Thanks to the crew for putting together such a fast and consistent racecar for us today."
Chief strategist Thomas Blam admitted the decision not to take fuel late on had been a gamble, but was one he was confident would pay off.
"We made a strategic call that we could finish the race without refueling and didn't pit with the rest of the GT2 field during the final yellow,” he said. “It was definitely on the edge, and we finished the race with the fuel light on, but we were confident in our fuel numbers. It may have not been the deciding factor in the race, but it definitely helped us keep a large gap."