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LAW: Catching Up in One of Flying Lizard’s Busiest Years Yet

Flying Lizard Motorsports program manager Darren Law files his latest Sportscar365 column…

Photo: Bob Chapman/Autosport Image

As Flying Lizard Motorsports surpasses the halfway point in the season, this year stands out as an unparalleled chapter of exciting endeavors for our team.

With numerous programs spanning a spectrum of championships, the hustle and bustle of this season has been both a challenge and a triumph.

Our multi-faceted programs across various series, with an array of cars in multiple classes, is a familiar terrain for our outfit.

However, it demands a determined commitment to maintain the high standards that define us. Thankfully, our seasoned team possesses the expertise and dedication needed, allowing us to contend for numerous championships in each series.

It’s amazing to reflect that nearly a decade has passed since our transformation from a factory team to a customer racing entity. From my initial role as a race car driver, I’ve evolved into a co-owner and team manager, gaining unique insights into the intricate workings behind the scenes.

This transition has been a rich learning experience, revealing the enormous effort required not only to craft a successful racing team but also to cultivate a financially viable racing enterprise.

Photo: Bob Chapman/Autosport Image

We won many fans over during our factory years when we solely raced a pair of Porsches in one series, and our program now encompasses four manufacturers in four race series. Our fans have stuck with us throughout the journey, and this last weekend at Road America, we had one of our largest garage tours to date.

Last weekend took us to the mid-point of the year, which proved to be an interesting race weekend, split between two series in two different states.

We had a Porsche and Aston Martin competing in downtown Nashville for the GT America doubleheader, while our four Lamborghinis competed in the Super Trofeo North America doubleheader in Road America in front of a record-breaking crowd during the IMSA WeatherTech weekend.

Choreographing the logistical challenge of sending five semi-trucks and a full race weekend complement across the country, overseeing a total of seven race cars, underscores the importance of a capable and dependable team.

That’s why it’s so important to have qualified, hardworking, and trustworthy individuals in your organization, confident that things will run efficiently and smoothly, no matter how the race weekend unfolds.

We had great success with podiums each day in both events. The Lamborghini Super Trofeo series showcased our ability, with three cars battling for Pro-Am class championship glory, and an Am-class contender clinching a well-deserved inaugural podium of the season.

Photo: Fabian Lagunas/Flying Lizard

Within the SRO America framework, our aspirations remain high, with contention for both the coveted GT4 America sprint class title and the GT America championship title.

Amongst these programs, our support of an additional GT3 racing campaign in Europe adds an extra layer of complexity to our operations.

While the task at hand takes a lot of work, it’s a source of great excitement for Flying Lizard Motorsports. Having a program of this magnitude gives us so many resources, data and information to continue to build on the successes we have already achieved.

As someone whose journey has been rooted in the driver’s seat, witnessing the growth and triumphs of this new chapter in Flying Lizard Motorsports’ history is incredibly gratifying.

Our impending move and expansion of the entire race operation to Arizona’s APEX Motor Club in December at the conclusion of the season signals a significant stride forward.

We have been based at Sonoma Raceway for the last 19 years, and although we have expanded into several shops on the property, we have never left the original shop the team started in.

We previously announced that we’re moving from our four separate shops, totaling about 12,000 square feet, to APEX Motor Club in Arizona, which will start at 15,000 square-feet. This move not only consolidates our operations under one roof but also paves the way for future growth and expansion.

It’s incredible to contemplate the evolution from a modest two-car racing outfit to a formidable fleet of over 15 cars.

Image: Flying Lizard Motorsports

The new facility also offers so many great opportunities for us as we will be the primary professional race team on site and have the ability to test more than 200 days per year, year-round.

Currently the APEX facility has a 2.5-mile track but will be building a second two-mile circuit on the north side of the facility. We are looking forward to growing with them as we grow our business. We have had to find the right balance in designing the shop to fit our racing needs as well as our service needs, but this is exciting because we are starting from scratch.

One of the biggest tasks has been going through the accumulation of things we’ve kept over the years, trying to decide what we need to keep or what is safe to finally dispose of.

That’s 20 years of spare parts, décor, merchandise, promotional items, trophies, crew gear, and on and on.

It has provided us a great opportunity to clean house, but we’ll definitely be glad when that process is complete, and everything is packed up and on its way to Arizona.

Sourcing the companies that can move all of our machine shop equipment, transport the lifts and heavy machinery and plan the logistics of the move around our race schedule and off-season test schedule is also something new we get to work though and learn from.

We have the offices to set up, people to move and people to hire, luckily, we have got a head start and we are looking forward to making the move in December.

Now, we enter into the final leg of the race season and are excited to close out what has been an interesting and thrilling season!

Darren Law (@Daw544) is a sports car racing driver turned team owner, serving as the program manager for Flying Lizard Motorsports.

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