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 morning.”

So here’s 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.


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