Each of the seven drivers and four cars showed a strong pace and were positioned to fight for podium finishes in the pair of races, but a series of racing incidents intervened, stealing additional strong finishes from the California team. Despite the setbacks, the team made strong strides in the first doubleheader of the season, currently fifth overall in the team championship standings.
“This was a great way to open the season in Lamborghini Super Trofeo,” said Program Manager Darren Law. “We had a strong showing with a win on day one, third place on day two, and our qualifying first, second, and third in one race is a great accomplishment. All of our cars were fast and had an opportunity to win. We are looking forward to the next event at Watkins Glen and hope to build on the momentum from this past weekend.”
The Lizards had a strong debut in race one, with all four cars qualifying in a group, matching similar paces with each other. In Pro/am. the No. 68 of Chris Bellomo and Johannes van Overbeek started from sixth place, No. 41 of Paul Nemschoff and Marc Miller in seventh and the No. 14 of Slade Stewart and Andy Lee started from eighth place in the Pro/Am class. Tom Tait had his own strong qualifying session, placing himself in fifth in the Am class for the first start of the race season. The group had a strong run to the front end of the field, with all four cars running in the top five and all with a chance at a podium finish in the final ten minutes. With six minutes remaining, the No. 11 entry spun on turn six, needing track assistance to continue moving. The incident brought out a full-course caution, bunching the field of Lamborghinis back together, building the tension for a one-lap shootout to the checkered flag. The top four cars in the Pro/Am class dove into the Andretti Hairpin, with the No. 46 and No. 47 leading Johannes van Overbeek in third, Marc Miller in fourth, and Andy Lee in fifth. The four-wide battle resulted in the No. 41 getting bumped and spinning. Just four turns later, tragedy stuck the No. 14 of Lee while running in fourth place and getting a good run into the Rahal Straight. A competitor bumped a curb and went slightly airborne, hitting the pink Lamborghini and sending it spinning off course. Although unfortunate for the 41 and the 14 cars, Johannes Van Overbeek and Chris Bellomo brought home the first podium and first win of the season for Flying Lizard Motorsports in the No. 68 car.
As in the previous race’s qualifying session, all four Lizard cars started close together, with Marc Miller leading the charge from the Pro/Am pole position, Andy Lee qualifying second, and Johannes Van Overbeek qualifying third. Miller and Lee fought side by side for position from the drop of the green flag, with van Overbeek just behind, eager to get in on the action. They maintained the top three positions for the entirety of their stint, while Tom Tait continued his strong hold on to fifth position. They completed their stints at the halfway point, but bad luck struck once again to the No. 14 Lamborghini when contact with another car sent Stewart and the pink unicorn spinning in turn two. While he received a tow out of the corner and was able to rejoin, his third-place position was lost, ultimately resulting in a seventh-place finish. With 12 minutes to go, the No. 46 entry got by the pair of leading Lizards exiting the corkscrew, but Nemschoff and Bellomo continued on to press for a strong final result. Bellomo climbed into the second-place position, engaged in some intense battles for overall position, with Nemschoff and Tait close behind. Tait had a particularly strong run in the second half of the race, engaged in his own heated fight for position. He held a podium position until turn two of the final lap, still earning a strong fourth-place result. Bellomo and van Overbeek’s car went off course in the final lap but rejoined to finish in seventh. Stewart rounded out the group with an eighth-place result.
The series will return June 22-25 for rounds two and three of the championship, taking the competitors to Watkins Glen International in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York. For tickets, schedules, and event information, visit imsa.com.