Sunday, May 4, 2014

TUSC: Paul Miller Racing podium and heartbreak for Flying Lizard Motorsports at Laguna Seca

By Johan Laubscher

Round four of the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship was at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this weekend. Four Audi R8 LMS cars competed in the GT Daytona class, entered by three different Audi Sport customer racing teams.

This was the first time since round two at Sebring that the GT Daytona (GTD) class was back on track. Flying Lizard Motorsports were back and entrusted their two cars to Seth Neimann and Dion von Moltke (#35) and Nelson Canache Jr and Spencer Pumpelly (#45). The #48 Paul Miller Racing R8 LMS had Christopher Haase and Bryce Miller behind the wheel. The #46 Fall-Line Motorsports R8 LMS saw the car driven by the two “Charlies” - Charles Espenlaub and Charlie Putman.

The GTD pole position went to the #45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Audi R8 LMS of Canache and Pumpelly. Paul Miller Racing qualified third in class, followed by the #35 Lizards R8 LMS in fifth and the Fall-Line Motorsports R8 LMS in twentieth.

The exciting two hour race concluded with a fuel conservation race and tragedy for Flying Lizard Motorsports. The #45 Audi R8 LMS was leading on the final lap, after stretching its fuel, but they sadly ran out of fuel in the closing meters of the race. They were passed by the leading #94 BMW Z4 of Turner Motorsport, closely followed by the #48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS, the top two finishers in the GTD class.

The #35 Lizards R8 LMS finished fifth within GTD. The race leading #45 Lizards R8 LMS was unofficially classed in sixth. Fall-Line Motorsports unfortunately joined the list of retirements.

Round five of the TUSC will be heading to Detroit Belle Isle, 30-31 May.

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