Sebring, Fl (March 17, 2013) – Following a fairly trouble-free run during yesterday’s 61st Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Brian Wong has added to his tally of American Le Mans Series (ALMS) trophies by taking a well-earned second place.
Driving for the prestigious Flying Lizard Motorsports organization, Wong, the first ever Chinese-American to earn a podium in ALMS competition, joined the no. 45 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup as part of one of the more formidable three-driver lineups in the GT-Challenge (GTC) category. Joined by teammates Spencer Pumpelly, a multi-time winner in the class, and Nelson Canache, the most recent winner of The Rolex 24 at Daytona, the trio came in to the race with high hopes. With Pumpelly qualifying the car in fourth, the team knew that smart strategy combined with mistake-free runs would be the key to a successful 12-hour race.
Adding to the team’s notoriety, the no. 45 car would also welcome the addition of The Jeremy Lin Foundation. Founded and named after National Basketball Association (NBA) star Jeremy Lin, the foundation supports non-profit organizations that are making an impact in the lives of children and youth in their communities.
“We really wanted to make a strong run for the foundation,” claimed Wong. “Jeremy Lin’s impact and exposure for the organizations he’s raising awareness for is great to see, and we’re really happy to tie in his notoriety in the NBA with what we’re bringing to the sportscar community.”
The program all comes as the result of team involvement from World Stage Racing (WSR). Based out of Los Angeles, WSR is a business entity designed to foster the relationships between Chinese and American businesses through motorsport.
When the green flag dropped for the around-the-clock endurance classic, it was up to Spencer Pumpelly to open the race strong. Driving a faultless stint, Pumpelly would comfortably keep the car in sight of the leaders for the entirety of his stint, handing the car over to teammate Nelson Canache one-hour later during a routine pit stop. With Canache doing much of the same, Brian Wong, from Newport Beach, would finally get in nearly an hour later, running the team’s first double-stint of the day.
Continuing the theme of a quiet, mistake-free run, Wong would drive for the next two hours without major incident and setting lap-times on pace with the race leaders. As the race would unfold, it was clear that the experience of the Flying Lizard organization, a two-time series champion, would lead to a fairly trouble-free and procedural race.
With Wong, Pumpelly, and Canache trading seats throughout the remaining hours, the team was poised for a podium finish, the only question was which position on the podium.
With two hours remaining, the race was on between the no. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche, the no. 23 Alex Job Racing Porsche, as well as the no. 66 TRG entry. With the no. 23 and no. 66 cars set to have their lead drivers in for nearly three hours at the end, Flying Lizard made the decision to keep driver Brian Wong in for a while, putting lead driver Spencer Pumpelly in with approximately 90 minutes left. This would mean Pumpelly would be slightly more fresh than the other two entries, and with a strategy that would allow the Atlanta-resident to push hard.
Charging hard from third, Pumpelly would chase down the no. 23 and no. 66, shortening the gap between them as the race would go on. Luckily for the team, a pit miscue by the TRG entry would allow Pumpelly to jump in to second place, with his sights set firmly on class leader Jeroen Bleekemolen.
As the laps wound down, Pumpelly and his no. 45 Porsche had the pace to charge after the leader, however they simply ran out of time, settling for second.
For Brian Wong, taking a podium in the series’ flagship race remains a nice accomplishment.
“Finishing on the podium here at Sebring is a great feeling,” stated Wong. “Spencer and Nelson were absolutely perfect all race long, and with a little more time we might even have taken the win. I’ve been very impressed with the entire Flying Lizard organization since day one, and hopefully this is the beginning of a great relationship with the team.”
With the second round of The American Le Mans Series taking place at the notorious Grand Prix of Long Beach in one month’s time, stay tuned for several announcements regarding the future plans of everyone involved in World Stage Racing.
With World Stage Racing placing a premium focus on the Asian American community, the large Southern California crowd synonymous with the Long Beach event will be a significant undertaking for the group.
The Grand Prix of Long Beach will take place from April 19-21 on the city streets of the city’s downtown region, with round two of The American Le Mans Series occurring on Saturday, April 20.
About Brian Wong
Brian Wong, from Newport Beach, California, is an experienced member of the racing community at only 23-years-old. A veteran of the American Le Mans Series, NASCAR, as well as numerous international ranks, Wong is a proven winner in multiple categories. With multiple victories in the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama, Wong has earned the moniker as a bit of a Porsche specialist, having run in multiple ALMS races in 2010 and 2011, as well the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia. Brian made history in 2011 when he became the first Chinese-American driver to take a podium in the American Le Mans Series, doing so at the prestigious Petit Le Mans.
More information can be found at www.brianwongmotorsports.com.
About The Jeremy Lin Foundation
Jeremy Lin is a professional basketball player for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Compelled to help the community, Jeremy Lin founded the Jeremy Lin Foundation to love and serve children and youth, by providing hope, empowerment and leadership development. The Jeremy Lin Foundation is a 501 c3 non-profit organization. 100% of the proceeds donated to the Jeremy Lin Foundation will go to supporting non-profit organizations that are making an impact in the lives of children and youth and their communities.
More information can be found at www.jeremylinfoundation.org.
About World Stage Racing
World Stage Racing is the first Asian-American led business in the NASCAR and professional sportscar ranks. Business is our foundation, but racing is our passion, at World Stage Racing. As the first Asian-American led team in both ranks, WSR offers its
partners a distinct advantage with a marketing activation platform that will reach a more significant domestic and international audience. With the growing Asian-American influence in the United States, as well as our team’s ability to mobilize this untapped Asian-American fanbase, WSR will thrill on and off the race track. The team
garners attention above and beyond that of a typical race team owing to its professional approach and Asian-American leadership.
Visit their site at www.worldstageracing.com.
About Flying Lizard Motorsports
Flying Lizard is based on Sonoma, California, and has competed in the American Le Mans Series for ten consecutive seasons, from 2004 to 2012 in the GT class and in 2013 in GTC. The Lizards have won two ALMS GT team championships (2008 and 2009) and have also secured three ALMS GT Drivers’ championships (2008, 2009, and 2010). Flying Lizard has also competed in the 24 Heures du Mans from 2005 through 2012, finishing third in 2005, fourth in 2006, sixth in 2008, sixth in 2011, and fourth in 2012.
Visit the team website at www.lizardms.com.