Nick Longhi Fills In Some More GT Gaps
”Grand Am had incorrectly listed the drivers on our #22 Fiorano
Racing / FX Direct Dealer / Hazardous Sports Porsche 996 GT3 Cup
team (at the test days),” explains Nick Longhi.
“They had Spencer Pumpelly listed as a driver
which is incorrect. We had Lonnie Pechnik (Flying Lizard ALMS driver)
with us at the test and he will be in the car for the 24. I have
known Lonnie long enough to know that he is super fast (ALMS pole
and third at Le Mans on his first try) and just a great asset all-around.
He will be with the Lizards in ALMS, and has now got the time to
branch out a bit into other series that do not conflict. Judging
by the interest he generated in the pits at the test, don't be surprised
to see him in a front line GT in Grand Am as well.”
So that’s cleared up that confusion. Lonnie
Pechnik raced in the Rolex 24 last year, when Flying Lizards did
enter the race.
“The remaining drivers in our Porsche are
'04 Rolex 24 SGS class winner Jean-Francois Dumoulin, Automatic
Racing team owner Jep Thornton, my usual team mate '05 Rolex 24
GT class runner-up Emil Assentato, and myself (also '05 Rolex 24
GT class runner-up),” continues Nick Longhi.
The Fiorano Racing team is run by ex-F1 mechanic
Gianni Panico (ex '04 Rolex 24 SGS class winners Doncaster Racing).
So here we have what Longhi calls “a solid
team that has been P1 at the 24, and with drivers that have been
P1 and P2 in the 24 and P3 at Le Mans: we hope we can keep it together
to make it to the end. We hope reliability and a little of the traditional
bad weather will keep the 997s and the Pontiacs in sight until Sunday
a team that isn’t going for the fastest times in testing,
qualifying or the race, but they’ve obviously got a very clear
plan mapped out for the Rolex 24 in just over two weeks’ time.