Flying Lizard Motorsports had a highly successful weekend at Circuit of the Americas over the weekend in rounds five and six of the Pirelli GT4 America championship and seven and eight of GT America Powered by AWS. With five entries between the two series, the Lizards reveled in two wins and an additional two podium finishes.
“This was such a great weekend for us,” said Program Manager Darren Law. “We ran five cars at COTA, qualified on pole, won two races, and had multiple other podiums. Not only did all our cars run strong all weekend, but we also gained valuable points as well. We are solidly in the fight for titles in more than one class and we look forward to taking this momentum on to the next race.”
Both the No. 2 Aston Martin Vantage GT4 of Jason Bell and Michael Cooper, as well as the No. 8 Aston Martin of Elias Sabo scored important wins, and Andy Wilzoch, driver of the No. 460 Porsche 911 GT3 R celebrated a strong fourth place finish, besting his previous top result of the year.
Leaving the weekend, Flying Lizard Motorsports has a 37-point lead in the GT America championship standings, and Jason Bell, driver of the No. 2 Aston Martin Vantage GT4 stands tied with Ross Chouest for first.
GT America Race One
After several days of scorching hot temperatures, the competitors were greeted with sunny but cool weather on the first of the two race days. Andy Wilzoch, racing the classic Flying Lizard livery on the No. 460 Porsche 911 GT3 R started the opening race from tenth place, and climbed as high as seventh in the 40-minute sprint. Jason Bell and the No. 2 Aston Martin Vantage GT4 started in the front row in second place, and after a quick battle for the lead with Ross Chouest, raced to the front of the GT4 field and built up over a 10-second lead on the field. With five minutes to go, Bell went off course with a brief electrical issue and rejoined in second place, just ahead of the sister Flying Lizard Aston Martin of Sabo.
Elias Sabo and the No. 8 Aston Martin took the green flag from fifth position, gaining a spot by the time he exited the opening turn in lap one. After Bell passed Chouest, Sabo stepped up to continue the fight, adding heavy pressure on his competitor for position. While Sabo kept pressure on Chouest, Rob Holland joined the pack, creating a three-wide battle for second place. The battle resulted in Sabo’s Aston Martin being hit by Rob Holland, spinning him on track in the final lap, resulting in a sixth-place finish. Bell finished in second place, making Saturday a strong points accumulation day.
GT America Race Two
Damp conditions once again made an appearance on the grid for race two at Circuit of the Americas. After rolling to the grid on rain tires, the team swapped everything out on all three entries last minute to racing slick tires, confident that the track would dry out and the rain would hold off during the race. Elias Sabo led the field to green from pole position with teammate Jason Bell next to him in second place. The Lizard pair, with Gray Newell, engaged in a tight, three-wide battle for the lead. Bell made the pass on Sabo, and the duo ran one-two to the checkered flag.
Andy Wilzoch started from ninth in the SRO3 class, and easily worked his way up to seventh as light rain tried to interfere with the event. Two cars in the SRO3 class brought out a full-course caution as the rain picked up, and Wilzoch took advantage of the restart to slide into fifth place. The race-winning car received a penalty post-race, moving Wilzoch up to a final result of fourth place, his best finish of the season to date.
GT4 America Race One
The Am-ranked drivers were the first to race in GT4 America on Saturday afternoon, with Elias Sabo and the No. 8 Aston Martin Vantage starting from fifth place, and Jason Bell starting the No. 2 from seventh. As is the case with Circuit of the Americas, when the field dove into turn one after the drop of the green flag, a case of four-wide pack racing resulted in both Flying Lizard cars getting caught in the calamity and temporarily pausing the race with a full-course caution. Bell rejoined sixth in class, while Sabo found himself tenth in the Pro/Am class.. By the time they pitted near the halfway point in the race for the mandatory driver change, Bell had climbed up to fourth, and Sabo sixth. Cooper and Lee took over and would have benefitted from a full-course caution, as the turn one incident scattered the Pro/Am throughout the field. The race stayed green and the pair had little opportunity to reclaim lost ground from the earlier incidents, finishing fourth and fifth in the Pro/am class.
GT4 America Race Two FLM
Under overcast skies, the professionally-ranked drivers started the race, with Michael Cooper and the No. 2 Aston Martin in third place, and Andy Lee in fifth in the Pro/Am class. Cooper managed to get by the second place car on the start and maintained a close battle at the front, while Lee found himself behind a silver-ranked car separating him from his Pro/Am competitors. Lee made it by in just a handful of laps, quickly closing the one-second gap to Jason Hart in the next position ahead. Cooper and Lee both maintained their positions to the end of their stints, coming in during the mandatory 10-minute pit-stop window. A perfect pit stop for the No. 2 Aston Martin brought Jason Bell out of pit lane in first place, and Elias Sabo in sixth. A double dose of full course cautions took up the entire stint for the Am drivers, and Jason Bell with Michael Cooper celebrated an overall win in their first outing as co-drivers in GT4 America.
Both series next head to Alton, VIRginia International Raceway for the next set of double-header events, June 16-18.
Source. Flying Lizard Motorsports