Fixing the Lizards’ 44 Car, Chassis #062
The Flying Lizards team had quite a Mid-Ohio, didn’t it? A maiden GT victory in the ALMS on Sunday, but a #44-car bending accident in testing on Friday. Thanks to Dave Arnold, here’s the sequence of events that enabled this remarkable team to compete at Mid-Ohio with two cars, and have two RSR Porsches at Lime Rock less than a week later – or how the team built up two cars in six days, while on the road too.

Friday, June 25:
· The #44 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR is involved in a collision with another car at Mid-Ohio during practice. Lonnie Pechnik was driving. The chassis is crushed in three places; repair in a body shop will require 4 to 5 weeks. Qualifying is only 24 hours away.

· The crew rebuilds the team’s spare 2003 model Porsche 911 GT3 RS in 12 hours; 24 hours after the collision the #44 RS qualifies at Mid-Ohio.

· Working with Porsche Motorsports North America, the team locates a spare 911 GT3 chassis in Weissach, Germany. The team prepares to build it into a race car when it arrives.

Sunday, June 26:
· In the Mid-Ohio ALMS race, Pechnik and co-driver Seth Neiman finish 9th in the GT class. The 45 car wins the class.

Monday, June 28:
· The Flying Lizard team remains at Mid-Ohio, building new suspension sub-assemblies in preparation for the arrival of the new chassis, while still performing normal post-race maintenance work on both the #44 and #45 cars raced the previous day.

· The new GT3 RSR chassis ships from Germany

Tuesday, June 29:
· The new chassis arrives via Lufthansa at Kennedy Airport in New York City, and passes through customs.

· The crew and team trucks arrive at Lime Rock late Tuesday night.

Wednesday, June 30:
· The new chassis arrives at Lime Rock Park, at 5 p.m.

· The Flying Lizard team, led by car chiefs Paul Truess and Tommy Sadler, immediately set to work, adding components, moving the dashboard and affiliated electronics from the wrecked chassis to the new one, and installing other new components onto the new tub. Four of the crew worked until 12:30 a.m.
Thursday, July 1:
· The crew continues to work both on the new car and the victorious #45 car. The RS backup car was re-prepped at Mid-Ohio, making it race-ready in the case the new car is not finished in time. The work day is 13.5 hours for 5–10 crewmen.

Friday, July 2:
· Work continues on the new chassis, adding bodywork, installing the complex maze of electrical components, a new engine and transaxle, and all suspension/brake components. Again, the work day was 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 3:· 9:38 a.m. – Lonnie Pechnik gives the new car its first reconnaissance laps (right) and the team prepares for afternoon practice and qualifying.

Eric Ingraham, Team Manager: “When we took delivery of our new RSRs, chassis number 062 and 063, it took about 40 man/hours per car to do all the detail work on them, and get them to the paint shop.

“Building this car was very different. We had only a tub (floorpan) with a roll cage welded onto it. All body components, and dozens of other parts, had to be ordered through the excellent cooperation of PMNA. We appreciate their cooperation.

“This job required a serious, focused team effort. Building a team which could respond to challenges such as this, in case they should happen, was one of our goals. During the last few days the entire crew has supported both cars, which was key to our success in getting everything done so quickly. ”

What a remarkable story of perseverance and dedication. Note: Under Porsche policy, the new car will continue to use the same VIN number as the crashed chassis -- #062.


Contents Copyright © All Rights Reserved.