Disappointment in Daytona

January 31, 2011

Patrick Long and Flying Lizard Motorsports experienced a mixed weekend at the 49th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona this weekend, in the #45 Porsche-powered Riley Daytona Prototype. Patrick’s teammate, Jörg Bergmeister, scored a shock pole position and set a qualifying lap record at Daytona on Friday, then followed it up by leading the opening 27 laps of the race and claiming fast lap of the race with a 1:40.417. In the third hour of the race, the #45 went off-track into the grass to avoid a spinning GT car in front of it, necessitating a lengthy repair which cost the team 18 laps in the garage. The team would bounce back to run as high as 11th place in class, but a small fire in the engine bay in the 22nd hour of the race caused the team to retire, recording a DNF.

Patrick said, “In the end it was a ton of fun. We knew we were in a pretty deep hole early in the race, but we battled back to regain as many laps as we could. The Lizards were very clear that they wanted us to stay motivated and keep pushing the car. It was great to be able to pass the entire DP field and eventual overall winners in the process. It’s a small consolation, but we’ll be back to fight another day. Daytona is all about chasing the watch, and there’s lots of years of chasing left. Some years, it goes like it did today, and other years, it all goes perfectly. Congratulations to the #01 Ganassi car, and we’ll hope to be back next year chasing an overall victory!”

Patrick next races in the American Le Mans Series season opener, at the Mobil One 12 Hours of Sebring, on Saturday, March 19.