Le Mans Preview

June 08, 2011

Patrick Long returns to Circuit de la Sarthe, in Le Mans, France to attempt his 3rd career victory in Les 24 Heures du Mans this week. Victorious in the GT class in 2004 in his maiden attempt and again in 2007, Long is making his 8th consecutive start at Le Mans and will drive for Flying Lizard Motorsport for the first time in France since 2006. Joining him in the #80 car will be longtime teammate Jörg Bergmeister and Lucas Luhr, both Germans.

This year at Le Mans, Flying Lizard will field two cars, and are reviving the tradition of the ‘art car’ for the most prestigious endurance race in the world. Similar to their 2007 effort, the Lizards have again retained Troy Lee Designs to create special liveries for its cars. This year, Troy Lee designed liveries which pay homage to the 28 Porsche-driving winners of Le Mans. Patrick’s #80 car is a stunning candy metallic orange and blue, and the #81 of Seth Neiman, Darren Law and Spencer Pumpelly is candy metallic blue; both cars feature the flags of the native countries of the 28 Porsche drivers to have won at Le Mans. Fittingly for the race that features the Mulsanne Straight, as Troy Lee himself says, “they look like they’re going 200mph standing still.”

Patrick said, “This year at Le Mans is extra special for me for two reasons: first, it’s great to be back with the Lizards at Le Mans, and second because we’ll get to drive Troy’s amazing car in the race. He has created a tribute to the overall winners in Porsches and I think quite a few of the drivers who are listed on the car will be at Le Mans to see it and take some photos. It’s special to carry the names of some of the greats. We have a lot of momentum and excitement going.”

“I haven’t driven with the Lizards here at Le Mans since 2006 when I drove with Seth and Jörg, so it’ll be good to team up with Jörg and Lucas Luhr and my ‘regular’ team this year. They’re such a hard- working, spirited bunch of guys, and we all have extra motivation at Le Mans. Lucas is a name that’s pretty familiar around Porsche circles and having him join us just brings a wealth of energy, experience and success, and beyond all that he’s a close friend.”

“We’ll struggle a bit for straight line speed but where we do struggle for top speed we’ll make up for in reliability and really smooth work in the pits. Certainly our strategy will be to be there at the end and to win it in traditional endurance form. I wouldn’t put any money on qualifying on the pole, but that hasn’t been our way of winning races for the last couple of years. I’m not losing any sleep over that. It’s always festive the entire week at Le Mans, and I think this year will be exceptional.”

The 24 Hours of Le Mans starts Saturday, June 11 at 3pm GMT, and runs until Sunday, June 12 at 3pm GMT. American television coverage will be on SPEEDTV, beginning at 8:30am ET. For live blog updates and team radio communications, visit https://www.lizardms.com, or follow @FlyingLizard_ms on Twitter.