Colorado Springs, CO -- Toyo Tires and Flying Lizard Motorsports will assault the 96th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) this Sunday, June 24. The No. 45 Flying Lizard / Toyo Tires McLaren 12C GT3 has been tuned-and-tested to race the 12.42-mile, 156-turn public toll road which climbs from the start at 9,390 ft. to a power-robbing 14,115 ft. elevation. Driver of the McLaren is Clint Vahsholtz, owner of the most class victories in the history of the PPIHC. The tires used for the assault are Toyo Proxes Slicks.
Together, Toyo Tires and Flying Lizard have won three consecutive overall victories at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill endurance race with the team’s #45 Audi® R8 LMS. PPIHC presents a new challenge for Flying Lizard while continuing their collaboration with Toyo Tires. It is also the first time that both Flying Lizard and Toyo Tires are teaming up with McLaren GT.
“When Toyo Tires came to us with the request to take on Pikes Peak, we felt this was a great project to be involved with,” said Flying Lizard Program Manager Darren Law. “Although this is something very different for Flying Lizard Motorsports, we always like to challenge ourselves, and this is a great opportunity to show our versatility in motorsports.”
Flying Lizard team principal, Tommy Sadler is heading up the Pikes Peak operation while McLaren GT offers engineering expertise. Marc Sanzenbacher, senior manager of Motorsports for Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. is overseeing the tire side of the operation.
”Toyo Tires is excited to be partnered with Flying Lizard Motorsports and Clint Vahsholtz for this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb,” said Sanzenbacher. “Flying Lizard has delivered three consecutive overall wins of the 25 Hours of Thunderhill on Toyo Proxes Slicks and by adding the winningest driver on this legendary mountain to the equation, we are confident we will see a great run this weekend.”
“Pikes Peak testing is complete, and Tommy (Sadler) and team have the McLaren handling great,” said Vahsholtz. “Going into what is a very demanding schedule this week, I feel that our slight adjustments will produce good results. The Toyo Proxes tires have worked awesome!”
In addition to Flying Lizard Motorsports, Toyo Tires is also supporting Scott Birdsall and his 1949 Ford F1 pickup named “Old Smokey.” Sporting a full tube chassis, turbocharged Cummins diesel engine and Toyo® Proxes® Slicks, Old Smokey has already become a media sensation and is certain to entertain spectators with its massive power.
The Flying Lizard Motorsports McLaren 12C GT3, Old Smokey and Ken Block’s 1965 Ford Mustang “Hoonicorn RTR V2” will be on display at the Toyo Tires booth this Friday, June 22, during the 17th Annual Fan Fest, presented by Toyo Tires and Budweiser in downtown Colorado Springs. The event will feature a variety of entertainment for race fans free of charge, including the annual Fire Fighter Chili Cook-Off. For full event information, visit ppihc.org.
To learn more about the full line of tires to fit your lifestyle, log on to toyotires.com.
About Toyo Tires®
Established in 1966, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. represents the innovation, quality, performance, and excellent service that Toyo Tires has delivered worldwide for over 70 years. The company offers a full line of premium tires for nearly every vehicle including light trucks, SUVs, crossovers, sports cars, luxury cars and hybrids as well as commercial trucks. Many of the tires are built in the United States at their state-of-the-art factory in White, Georgia. To find the right tire for your vehicle as well as an authorized dealer, visit www.toyotires.com. Join the Toyo Tires community on: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
About Flying Lizard Motorsports
Based out of Sonoma, California, Flying Lizard Motorsports is one of the most iconic sports car teams in motorsports, having celebrated seven driver and team championships, as well as competed internationally at the 24 Hours of Le Mans eight times. The team currently races in World Challenge, Porsche® GT3 Cup Trophy USA, and Porsche® Club of America.
The Lizards burst on the American Le Mans Series scene in 2004, competing in the GT class until 2012. In 2013, the team moved to the GTC class, still competing in legendary events such as the 12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of Daytona. In 2014, the team expanded its program to include running two Audi R8 LMS in the TUDOR Championship, and in 2015, again expanded the program to include two Porsches® in Porsche® Club racing. Flying Lizard closed out the season with a dominating win at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill with Toyo Tires, a win they repeated with a 1-2 finish in 2016.
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.
Flying Lizard Motorsports has proven to be a championship contender no matter the race series or race car. For more information, visit lizardms.com. For additional photos and all behind-the-scenes updates, check us out on Facebook, twitter and Instagram.