This week Flying Lizard Motorsports returns to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix, the next round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. In 2014, the team earned pole position and led every lap of the 78 lap race. The perfect run ended in heartbreak as the car ran out of fuel in the legendary corkscrew in the final lap, resulting in a 6th place finish.
With a strong determination, the Lizards will return this week to reclaim the win that narrowly escaped their grasp in 2014. Driving the No. 35 Audi R8 LMS will be veteran IMSA driver Guy Cosmo and Ferrari Challenge driver Patrick Bryne.
Since joining sports car racing in 2003, Cosmo has built a broad racing resume in prototype and GT racing, with over 80 starts in GRAND-AM Road Racing, the American Le Mans Series and the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Cosmo is no stranger to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, having first raced at the legendary track in 2002 in the Star Mazda Championship.
Fellow American racer Patrick Byrne started his racing career at age 15 at the Bondurant School of High Performance Driving and Road-Racing. After participating in additional advanced schools, Byrne then turned to developing his craft through private coaching programs, logging in over 200 hours. After gaining track time in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, the Ferrari Challenge and Maserati Trofeo Series, Byrne will participate in his first TUDOR United SportsCar Championship event.
The Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix will be the third United SportsCar Championship event of the 2014 season for Flying Lizard Motorsports, previously competing in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. The Sonoma based team currently plans to run a partial season, finishing out the year at Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. On track festivities for the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix begin Friday, May 1. The two hour, forty minute event begins Sunday, May 3 at 4:05PM Pacific and will broadcast live on Fox Sports 1.
I'm absolutely thrilled to be joining Flying Lizard Motorsports. This is a team that has set the standard for professionalism and success. After competing directly against them for three seasons in the ALMS GTLM category, I know the depth of their talent and strength of the effort they put forward. They are a truly first-class organization and I am honored to finally have the opportunity to become a 'Lizard'. I'm also thrilled to be driving with Patrick Byrne. Patrick is a wonderful young man whom I've had the pleasure of working with and coaching in the past. He is smart, calculated and fast. Though he is new to TUDOR competition, he is a quick study and I am excited to be paired with him. This is a great opportunity for the both of us and we are going to take full advantage of it. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is absolutely one of my favorite tracks, situated in one of the most beautiful places on earth.
I am really looking forward to driving for Flying Lizard Motorsports, a top team with great people and a long winning history in in sports car racing. It's an honor to be associated with such a special team of dedicated racers. It will be great driving the Audi R8 LMS which is a very competitive car backed by a highly respected manufacturer that has shown a true commitment to racing. I truly admire Audi's passion for motorsports. It's so good to be racing in a series that is regarded as the top tier of GT racing in the US. I can't wait! I'm very excited to be driving with Guy Cosmo and working with Darren Law, two of my favorite career drivers. We've all been wanting to do this for a couple of years now and it's finally happening! I have always enjoyed driving here and very much look forward to this weekend.
We're really looking forward to coming back to Mazda Raceway. We've always had a great run here with Flying Lizard. Last year is a great example, when we qualified on pole and led the majority of the race before unfortunately running out of fuel on the last lap coming to the finish line. The car is strong and we're coming to this one with a brand new driver line up. Guy is very experienced and has driven these cars and has driven for Extreme Speed in the prototypes. I've known him for a long time, he's a quick and smart driver and we're looking forward to having him on board. Patrick is a new, young, up-and-coming driver coming out of Ferrari Challenge. He and Guy have been working together from a coaching standpoint for some time. We went to Sonoma a few weeks ago and tested with both of them. They're both very fast, and we think we have a great line up and we're looking forward to the weekend.
About Flying Lizard Motorsports
Flying Lizard is based in Sonoma, California, and has competed in the American Le Mans Series for ten consecutive seasons, from 2004 to 2012 in the GT class and in 2013 in GTC, along with the inaugural season of the TUDOR United Sportscar Championship in the GT Daytona class in 2014. The Lizards have won two ALMS GT team championships (2008 and 2009), one ALMS GTC team championship (2013), and have secured three ALMS GT Drivers' championships (2008, 2009, and 2010). Flying Lizard has also competed in the 24 Heures du Mans from 2005 through 2012, finishing third in 2005, fourth in 2006, sixth in 2008, sixth in 2011, and fourth in 2012. Please visit the team website at www.lizardms.com and the team store at www.flyinglizardstore.com. Follow Flying Lizard Motorsports on twitter, and like us on Facebook for all team updates.
About Audi of America and the Audi R8 LMS
Audi began a new chapter in 2009 with the introduction of the Audi Sport customer racing program. For the first time it was possible for motorsport customers to acquire a race car designed for customer racing events. Since its inception, the success of the R8 LMS has been significant throughout the GT3 racing format worldwide, including victory in the GT class in the 2013 edition of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The Audi R8 LMS shares more than 50% of its parts with the Audi R8 street car including the naturally aspirated V10 5.2 Liter engine, the Audi Space Frame and a variety of other components.
Audi of America, Inc. and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands globally. Audi was a top-performing luxury brand in Europe during 2012, and broke all-time company sales records in the U.S. Through 2016, AUDI AG will invest about $17 billion on new products and technologies.