Flying Lizard Reveals All-American Lineup for Petit Le Mans
September 23, 2015 – Sonoma, CA
Flying Lizard Motorsports is excited to announce the entry of the No. 45 Audi R8 LMS into the 18th Annual Petit Le Mans, and also reveal the all-American driver lineup of Guy Cosmo, Colin Thompson, and Robert Thorne.
The team has enjoyed great success at the 10 hour endurance event, most recently winning from pole position in 2013 with Nelson Canache, Spencer Pumpelly and Madison Snow. The Sonoma, California based team has celebrated five podiums and two wins at the iconic event, averaging a 6th place finishing position from 23 Petit Le Mans entries. The event always brings excitement, pushing man and machine to the limits as many teams fight for their final points of the season. Competitors are tested on skill, climate adaptability, technical reliability, precision and endurance during the 10 hour event. The race marks the finale for the 2015 TUDOR Championship season, in which Flying Lizard has participated in four endurance and sprint races thus far.
"Petit will be special this year," says Program Manager Darren Law, who previously raced Petit Le Mans six times with Flying Lizard. "Obviously the Audi R8 is fast and reliable, and we have a lot of experience in this race. Our driver lineup is phenomenal for this event."
Guy Cosmo (Palm Beach Gardens, Florida) is returning for his second TUDOR Championship race with Flying Lizard, previously running in the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Although the team was taken out of podium contention early in the race, Cosmo finished the event with lap times competitive to those of the class leaders. Cosmo finished on the Petit Le Mans podium in 2005 and 2013 with Level 5 Motorsports, finishing second and third in class.
Petit Le Mans will cap off what has been a whirlwind season for Colin Thompson, (Doylestown, Pennsylvania). Earlier this month, the 21 year-old celebrated his second championship title, winning the 2015 Pirelli World Challenge GT Cup Title on the heels of his 2014 IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama Championship, both with Kelly Moss Motorsports. After an impressive show during practice, Thompson's run in the 2015 12 Hours of Sebring with Flying Lizard Motorsports was cut short when a mechanical issue took the Audi out of contention just one hour into the race.
Petit Le Mans will mark Robert Thorne's third TUDOR Championship entry of the season with Flying Lizard Motorsports, including the 24 Hours of Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring. The 25 year old has become well acquainted with Flying Lizard Motorsports, after just finishing the 2015 Pirelli World Challenge season in the joint GT effort of K-PAX Racing with Flying Lizard Motorsports. Although the season was a difficult one, Thorne (Littleton, Colorado) showed commanding speed all year long, highlighted by a pole position and podium finish at Barber Motorsports Park, and a near podium finish at Sonoma Raceway.
"We're very excited about our driver lineup for this event. Guy Cosmo has a lot of experience in this type of racing and the speed and versatility of both Colin Thompson and Robert Thorne should give us a great opportunity," said Law. "They're all quick, proven race winners and podium finishers. Petit Le Mans is a long race, and Road Atlanta is a tricky track. As long as we have a clean race, we should be contenders."
I'm thrilled to be joining Flying Lizard Motorsports for Petit Le Mans and racing with Audi once again. We had a great experience together at Laguna Seca earlier this season and proved we were a very strong combination. With that experience under our belts, our lineup of Robert Thorne and Colin Thompson alongside me and being in the spectacular Audi R8 LMS, we will be contenders for the GTD class win and that is our goal. I love Road Atlanta and Petit Le Mans. It can be insane out there, between getting around the track as quickly as you can and managing the traffic.
Road Atlanta is one of the greatest and most demanding tracks out there, and certainly a favorite of mine. I've got a lot of fond and exciting memories from this race but I haven't won Petit yet, and I'd really like to! The race will be intense and there will be a lot to endure, but with Audi Sport customer racing on our side and the huge depth of experience the Lizards have, this may be my best shot yet. We are all here as a team to capitalize on that.
I'm extremely excited to be back with the Lizards. They're one of the most well-known and successful teams in sportscar racing. It's an honor to be a part of the team. I raced with them at Sebring and had some bad luck, but we're back and with an A+ driver lineup. It's very rare in motorsports that you can have, what I think is, a very strong lineup and also be all American. As an American-based team with an all-American driver lineup, we'll be carrying a lot of pride into this event.
I'm thrilled to have another race this season with Flying Lizard Motorsports. With their experience and professionalism, they're the definition of what a sports car team should be. This season has been the most enjoyable of my career, and I'm ready to end it on a high note. We've got a great line up for Petit Le Mans, and I'm looking forward to be back in the Audi R8 alongside Guy and Colin. Road Atlanta is one of the greatest tracks in North America and Petit always brings the best drivers and cars. I'm looking forward to a strong effort and hopefully one more podium to add to this season.
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.