Flying Lizard Motorsports was left to rue a Safety Car mix-up which hit its hopes of GT2 success in the season-opening Sebring Twelve Hours.

The #45 Porsche 997 RSR of Jorg Bergmeister, Patrick Long and Marc Lieb had been running at the head of the field early on and was running second when it was involved in an incident with the fellow Porsche of Team Falken Tire.

When the #17 entry lost a wheel, Bergmeister was in the wrong place at the wrong time as he was struck by the wheel, which caused a puncture and bent wheel on the Lizards car.

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Returing to the pits, Bergmeister was then left to wait for some three laps before the team could start repairs as the Safety Car was deployed but failed to pick up the leader.

It dropped the Porsche down to fifth in class, although the trio were able to battle back to fourth in class at the finish and ninth overall.

"I should have played the lottery today," Bergmeister said. "The chances of having a flying wheel hit me are probably less than winning the jackpot. It was very unfortunate, we were running a solid second, within a few seconds of the Ferrari, when it happened.

"But we finished the race with both cars in the top five, and we have good points for the championship. We didn't have quite the pace of the Ferrari and BMW but made up for it in pit stops -- thanks to the crew and entire team."

The sister car finished fifth in GT2.