Lizards Win on the Road, Disqualified Post-Race

July 23, 2012

Patrick Long and teammate Jörg Bergmeister won a thrilling race at Mosport, as Long climbed from 5th at the start of the race to hand the #45 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR over to Bergmeister in p2 by the end of his stint. After Jörg’s pitstop cycle, the German emerged in p6, and managed to climb into the lead over the first half of his stint, then hold off the #3 Corvette and #01 Ferrari for the Lizards’ second consecutive victory.

Unfortunately, it all came to nothing as the #45 failed the IMSA-administered stall test in post-race scrutineering, meaning the car was disqualified from the race. A stall test is undertaken by plugging a car’s engine air intake with the engine running, and the engine must stop or stall out in order to pass the test; this is done to be sure all air goes through the series-mandated restrictor. More power can be made than the series mandates for each car under the balance of performance rules if air gets past the restrictor, but if an intake pipe comes loose, gets a cut in it or if the air box cover loosens, a car can fail the test. The Lizards immediately appealed IMSA’s decision, but their appeal was declined, meaning they lose all points they’d have taken by recording an official victory.

Long said: “The start is always tricky at Mosport because the GT field is still in Turn 9 and 10 when the prototypes get the green, but I was able to time it just right and slip by the No. 01. I knew that we had a fast car, especially on colder tires; early in the race I decided to work together with the car in front of me [the No. 55] to close the gap to the Corvettes. We were starting to make some headway when the No. 4 Corvette dropped out and we had the first full course caution. From the time I turned the wheel over to Joerg it became a strategy race. Thomas Blam’s strategy plus seamless pit stops helped us leapfrog to position to lead once the GT field cycled through their stops. Joerg did a phenomenal job in the heat and humidity and hung in there to take the win.”