ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Flying Lizard Motorsports closed out their first race weekend of the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge season Sunday morning, leaving the Grand Prix of St Petersburg with a podium and an additional top five finish.
A double header street course event is never without drama, and St. Petersburg was no exception. While the event stayed mostly clean, it was not without some incidents. However, both Flying Lizard Audis kept clear of all carnage, coming back to the garage at the end of the weekend as flawless as they rolled off the truck. The team debuted their pair of new Audi R8 LMS GT4 cars with drivers Mike Hedlund and Adam Merzon, who were able to test the cars leading up to the season opening event.
Mike Hedlund and the No. 45 Audi R8 LMS led the charge for the weekend, earning a second place finish in race one and a fourth place finish in race two, earning a second place spot in the GTSA point standings, just two points behind Drew Staveley. Adam Merzon earned a ninth and a 12th place finish, placing him in ninth position in the championship standings.
Next the series will head to Circuit of the Americas, March 23-25 for the first two rounds of the Pirelli World Challenge SprintX Championship, where the standard 50 minute race will be extended by ten minute. Hedlund will race both events in the No. 45 as the only driver, but Merzon will be joined by Ryan Eversley in the No. 23 Audi R8 LMS GT4. For ticket and schedule information, visit world-challenge.com.
Darren Law | Program Manager
This was a very solid weekend for our first outing with the Audi R8 LMS GT4. It’s always tough to start the season on a street course and leave without any damage. The guys had a lot of work prior to coming here. The cars were solid. The handling was good. The team worked well. Nice to have mike on the podium, and both cars earned some solid points.
Mike Hedlund | No. 45 Audi R8 LMS GT4
We had a really good start to the season in our Audi R8 LMS GT4. Second place and fourth place isn’t bad for points. We had a solid start with the car. Learning your way around a street circuit with a new car is always a bit challenging, but the team did a great job. I had a small mistake that cost us a little bit, but all in all, it was a great weekend for our team. I’m looking forward to Circuit of the Americas.
Adam Merzon | No. 23 Audi R8 LMS GT4
Not the results I wanted for the weekend, but it wasn’t for lack of effort. Everyone at Flying Lizard Motorsports was perfect all weekend, and we are headed home with two cars completely intact. I’m looking forward to debuting our Case-It livery at Circuit of the Americas in two weeks on a traditional road course where I’m more at home.