Flying Lizard Race Preview: Virginia International Raceway
The Pirelli World Challenge battle for the GTS championship recommences this weekend after a six week hiatus since the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Rounds three and four of the championship bring the series back to Virginia International Raceway (VIR) for the first time since 2010. Flying Lizard Motorsports earned a second place finish at VIR in 2012 in the American Le Mans Series, and will return this weekend with Rodrigo Baptista and Nate Stacy to contest for the win with their pair of Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MRs.
In preparation for the event, Flying Lizard Motorsports and both drivers tested at the 17 turn, 3.27 mile road course. It was the first time at the Alton, Virginia track for both drivers.
"We felt it was critical to test here, so we came for a private test day last month and got a lot of work done," said Program Manager Darren Law. "Both Nate and Rodrigo got familiar with the track and we also gathered some good data for the setup. This track is fast and technical, which requires precise handling."
Most of the tracks on the 2017 calendar will be new for Brazilian Rodrigo Baptista, who pilots the No. 3 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR. Baptista finished fourth and sixth in the opening Rounds of Pirelli World Challenge at St. Petersburg.
"I am looking forward for the weekend at the VIR," said Baptista. "The results from the test there were great. It is a really nice, long track, and I think it will be good for Cayman GT4s. That is the kind of track I like. I will do my best as always, and hope to get a good result for Flying Lizard Motorsports."
Already familiar with many of the tracks Pirelli World Challenge competes at, American Nate Stacy will perform well this season. Stacy finished sixth and ninth on the streets of St. Petersburg, a track known for tough racing. With a test under his belt, Stacy felt confident heading into the next rounds.
"The car will perform well at Virginia International Raceway," said Stacy. "It is a high speed handling rhythm track, so I think the Porsche will do very well there. We had some test time at VIR before the race weekend, and we learned a lot about the handling of our cars. It gave us some good insight on how the track will be over time."
"The Porsche Cayman GT4 MR should be good here since it is not just a point and accelerate type of track," agreed Law in conclusion. "It is fast and has many high-speed momentum type sections which should benefit our cars."
Rounds three and four of the Pirelli World Challenge GTS Championship will take place Saturday, April 29 at 2:10PM Eastern, and Sunday, April 30 at 11:10AM Eastern. Both races will air on world-challenge.com/streamvideo.
About Flying Lizard Motorsports
Since its inception in 2004, Flying Lizard Motorsports has become an iconic team in the world of sports car racing. The California based team has celebrated seven driver and team championships, as well as competed internationally at the 24 Hours of Le Mans eight times. The Lizards burst on the American Le Mans Series scene in 2004, competing in the GT class until 2012. In 2013, the team moved to the GTC class, still competing in legendary events such as the 12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of Daytona. In 2014, the team expanded its program to include running two Audi R8 LMS in the TUDOR Championship, and in 2015, again expanded the program to include two Porsches in Porsche Club racing. Flying Lizard closed out the season with a dominating win at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill with Toyo Tires, a win they repeated with a 1-2 finish in 2016. For more information, visit lizardms.com. For additional photos and all behind-the-scenes updates, check us out on Facebook, twitter and Instagram.