Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Petit Le Mans - Practice & Qualifying

Sept 25, 2009

**Qualifying **

2:35 pm -Patrick Long qualifies the No. 45 sixth in GT2 and Seth Neiman is 13th. David Murry put the No. 40 Robertson Racing Ford on the pole.

2:33 pm - Chief strategist Thomas Blam called Patrick in - he is P 4. They will refuel and may send him out again. They will sit tight and see if anything changes in the conditions that might give us an advantage.

2:31 pm - The No. 28 Corvette is P1 with a 1:21.024. the No. 40 Ford is P2 with a 1:21.592. The No. 45 is P3 with a 1:21.531.

2:29 pm ET -Patrick has moved to P1. The No. 62 Risi Ferrari has a puncture on its second lap and is limping along the track. That will be the end of their qualifying session because they cannot change tires.

2:25 pm ET - Good afternoon from Road Atlanta. Green flag on today's qualifying session. Patrick Long will qualify in the No. 45 and Seth Neiman in the No. 44. It's hot, hot, hot here and very humid. Skies are starting to cloud up but it looks like it will stay dry for qualifying. Rain is forecast for raceday.

Reminder that SpeedTV is broadcasting today's qualifying session live and is also.

10:00 - Checkered on our practice session for today. Qualifying starts at 2:25 pm ET today, and the race starts at 11:20 am on Saturday. See you then!

9:55 - Green flag. Patrick heads out in the No. 45 and Seth Neiman is back in the No. 44. 5 minutes left in the session.

9:51 - Red flag. The No. 90 BMW is deep in the gravel. Patrick just completed a stop and go penalty for a pit lane speeding violation. This may be the end of the session.

Reminder that qualifying is today at 2:25 ET - it will be broadcast live on

9:38 am - Green flag. Just over 20 minutes left in the practice session.

9:30 - Red flag to pull the Falken Porsche out of the gravel. Johannes van Overbeek is now in the No. 44. Patrick is still in the No. 45.

9:21 - They are still working on some setup adjustments on the No. 45 - with a bar change. Driver change from Marc to Patrick Long. Neiman is still out in the No. 44. Just over 30 minutes left in practice.

9:11 - Chief strategist Thomas Blam calls Marc into the pits for a damper change. Neiman is still out on track in the No. 44. Marc is currently P4 in the seession. The No. 3 Corvette is P1.

9:05 am - Marc Lieb is currently P1 in the No. 45 with a 1:21.529. Reminder that the race will be broadcast live on SpeedTV starting at 11 am ET tomorrow (Saturday). will broadcast today's qualifying session online - starting at 2:25 for GT.

9:00 am ET - Good morning from Road Atlanta. Green flag on today's practice session. The No. 44 and No. 45 are both heading out. Seth Neiman is in the No. 44 and Marc Lieb is in the No. 45. So far, the weather is holding - rain is expected later today and unfortunately, throughout the day tomorrow. We've had less practice time than expected this week due to a large number of red flags. But otherwise, things are going well for the Lizards. We are in the lead in the GT2 championship - Joerg and Patrck are 31 points ahead of Melo and Kaffer in the No. 62 Risi Ferrari, and the team is 31 points ahead of Risi in the team championship. If Joerg and Patrick finish within one position of Risi on Saturday - whether ahead or behind - they will win the championship. There are 30 points at stake here (for first) and 25 points at Laguna.

Sept 24, 2009

9:10 pm - The No. 45 is back out for another lap to test the headlight repair. Joerg is in the car. He is back again in the pits after 1 lap - the crew will take the car back to the garage to complete the work and our setdown. We'll be back with you tomorrow for our morning practice at 9 am ET, then qualifying at 2:25. See you then!

9:00 -Red flag for the safety officials to pick up some debris on track. The No. 44 is back in the garage. The No. 45 is still in the pits - Joerg will take the car back out one more time to test a minor repair.

8:52 pm ET - And Darren is in the pits in the No. 44, they are done for the night and are heading back to the garage. It looks like the No. 45 may go out one more time to confirm a repair to the headlights.

We'll be back with you for our final practice session tomorrow morning at 9:00, then qualifying at 2:25 pm ET. See you then!

8:40 - Joerg is in the pits. The No. 45 is done for the night - all three drivers have completed their required night laps and the car will head back to the garage. Darren Law is still out in the No. 44 but he should be back in shortly.

8:31 - In the No. 45, Marc is out of the car now and Joerg is in for his stint. In the No. 44, Darren is back in the pits. He will go back out for a few more laps for them to complete bedding the new rotors. The session lasts until 9:05 but I expect we will finish up in 15 minutes or so with both cars.

8:27 - Darren is now out for this 3 laps. In the No. 45, Marc is now P8. He will pit this lap.

8:19 pm - Marc Lieb is now behind the wheel of the No. 45. The No. 44 crew is making a few repairs to the car - Darren's still in the pits.

8:13 pm ET - Patrick Long is now on track in the No. 45. It has cooled down substantially - Patrick just radioed in that it's taking a long time for the tires to come in. In the No. 44, Johannes has done his three laps and now Darren Law is in the car and heading out for his stint.

8:00 pm ET - The final practice session of the day is underway. It's fully dark now. The NO. 44 is in pit lane after having done an install lap. Seth Neiman will finish out his three required laps and then hand the wheel over to Johannes van Overbeek. The No. 45 crew is just finishing up work on the car in the garage and that car will be in pit lane shortly. Both cars have their race engines in and the enigneers are using this session to ensure that there are no issues.

4:00 - Checkered flag. The session has ended. The track will continue the repairs on the fence after the accident. Thankfully, it appears that no one was injured in the major accident - we see the driver Scott Sharp on TV as he heads back to the paddock and he appears to be OK. We'll be back with you for evening practice at 7:20. See you then!

3:43 - Major accident on course with the Highcroft Patron prototype. Luckily the driver (appears to be Scott Sharp) is walking away from an incredible wreck. The Highcroft car is destroyed. Medical personnel are helping the driver into the medical car - he is walking and talking with them. The No. 87 Farnbacher Loles Porsche was involved in the wreck. That driver also appears OK. It will be a lengthy yellow as both cars are removed from the course and the course officials make some fence repairs.

3:40 - In the No. 45, Joerg went out to test the setup change, then back into the pits to give Engineer Stefan Pfeiffer feedback and another change. Stefan decides to make a swaybar change and send Joerg out. The challenge that the engineers face here at this track is to balance downforce and speed with getting the maximum tire wear they can. Because of the length of the race, and many pit stops may need to be done under green, they need to be able to run tires at 150 percent of a stint or more if needed.

3:31 - Joerg now P3. The BMWs are P1 and P2 with a 1:21.686 and a 1:21.710. Joerg is pitting for a setup change.

3:27 - Joerg is P1 in the session after 4 laps with a 1:21.956.

3:20 pm ET - Green flag on this afternoon's practice session. Seth Neiman is out in the No. 44 Porsche and Joerg is in the No. 45. It's hot, hot, hot here - hot and humid. Luckily there is some high cloudcover which is helping a bit.

This is our second of three practie sessions today - we have one hour now, and 1 hour and 45 minutes tonight.

11:06 - Darren took a spin on course and contacted a prototype, I think the No. 2. He was able to continue and pitted for damage. There's some damage to the rear of the No. 44 but it appears superficial. That's it for the Lizards this morning. We'll be back with you for the second practice session of the day at 3:20 pm ET. See you then!

11:00 am - Joerg is currently P2 in the session with a 1:21.498. Dirk Mueller in the
No. 92 is P1 with a 1:21.035. Darren Law is now in the No. 44 for his first stint of the day.

10:51 - 15 minutes left in the session. The No. 45 is doing a tire test, so Joerg will finish out the session on this set of tires. Seth Neiman is still in the No. 44. All good so far.

10:42 - Joerg Bergmeister is now in the No. 45. Seth Neiman is still in the No. 44 and is in pit lane giving feedback to Chief Engineer Craig Watkins. Our practice yesterday was shortened by a red flag after a prototype lost a motor on track and spewed oil all over the track, so the engineers are hustling today to get their basic setup work done.

10:26 am - Looks like it was one of the Peugeots - it has been towed back to the garage on a flatbed. Green flag. It's cooler today but still extremely humid with overast skies. We are expecting some rain this afternoon and on race day. There are three practice sessions today - this morning, then 3:20-4:20, then night practice 7:20-9:05. Each driver must do 3 laps during night practice - even if it is raining. the Lizard driver lineup for this weekend is: No. 45 -Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Long, and Marc Lieb. No. 44 is Seth Neiman, Darren Law and Johannes van Overbeek. The GT2 championship could be decided at this race, although we have one more race coming up - the season finale at Laguna Seca. Joerg and Patrick are 31 points ahead of Risi's Melo and Kaffer in the No. 62. There are 30 points at stake here, and 25 at Laguna. If the No. 45 finishes the race, and finishes within one position of the No. 62, either in front of behind, they will win the championship.

10:20 - Apparently a fire in one of the prototypes on course. I don't have any more details, although the fire is now out. This may be a lengthy yellow.

10:15 - Two cars are off in Turn, neither Lizards involved.

10:06 am ET - Good morning from Road Atlanta. Green flag on the first of three practice sessions today. Seth Neiman is in the No. 44 and Marc Lieb in the No. 45. Both cars are heading out on track now.

Sept 23, 2009

3:50 - Well, unfortunately the session is over after that last red flag. We'll be back with you tomorrow with three practice sessions, starting at 10:05 am ET. See you then!

3:33 - Red flag to do a track cleanup for oil and dirt on the track.

3:30 - Green flag. Patrick is in the No. 45 and is now P3.

3:16 pm - All is well so far. Patrick is in the No. 45 and Johannes is now in the No. 44. Red flag for a car is stopped in Turn 4.

2:57 - Green flag. Just over 1 hour left in the session.

2:45 pm ET - This is our first on track session of race week and the engineers are just starting their setup work getting feedback from the drivers. 15 minutes into the sesssion, Joerg is P3 and Darren is P 5. Red flag to remove debris in Turn 4 and Turn 10.

2:30 pm ET - Good afternoon from Road Atlanta. It's hot and humid here today but thankfully, dry, after the torrential rain of the last few days. Both cars are in pit lane ready to head out for today's only practice session. Darren Law is in the No. 44 and Joerg Bergmeister is in the No. 45. We have a one hour combined session with the prototypes, then 30 minutes GT only.


VroomGrrl said...

So glad to see your notes for today - hope your load-in went OK and you are all settled in and ready to GO LIZARDS, GO!!

Also hoping the grounds will be ready for the fans. I'm coming over early Friday morning in my 911 and looking forward to the Lizards visit to the Porscheplatz. I'll be totally geeking out for some driver autographs on my helmet!

Best of luck to everybody on the team - looking forward to an awesome race on Saturday!
aka Kathy

VroomGrrl said...

Lizards, you are lined up perfectly to accomplish your mission tomorrow. GO FOR IT! Can't wait to see what the day brings. Hope my next post is CONGRATS!!

Jen, thanks so much for these posts. Even though I was there at the track today, I got most of my Lizard news right here.

VroomGrrl aka Kathy said...

I had to get my 911 out of the Porsche corral while I could and I'm back at ye olde Comfort Inn while you guys are stuck under rain red flag. I hope we get just enough time later tonight that #45 can catch that doggone 62!!! With any luck this will pass and allow some night racing to finish the thing right. Great to see everybody today - still rooting for the Lizards to get it done!! I've got a bunch of photos uploaded here: