WILLOWS, CA -- Toyo Tires and Flying Lizard Motorsports (FLM) made history this past weekend by winning their fourth consecutive overall victory at the USAF 25 Hours of Thunderhill™ in Willows, CA. It represents the first time ever that a team has won four consecutive 25 Hour races overall. Considered North America’s longest endurance racing event, the 25 Hours is one of the premier events held annually by National Auto Sport Association (NASA).
The overall race winner and winner of the ES Class was the #74 Toyo Tires Porsche® 911 GT3® RSR driven by Wolf Henzler, Johannes van Overbeek, Justin Marks, Charlie Hayes, and Andy Wilzoch. Their tires for this historic win were Toyo Proxes Slicks. The team overcame two separate axle failures, the first within an hour of the start, and problems with the paddle shifter toward the end of the race. A combination of excellent teamwork and driving skill helped secure the win.
“Awesome job by Flying Lizard as usual,” said van Overbeek. “We had two broken axles and spent roughly 50 minutes behind the wall collectively. But the team didn’t give up. It was great driving with Wolf, Justin, Andy and Charlie. I feel honored to be a part of the program and excited to have my sixth overall win at the 25 Hour. Thanks to Toyo Tires for providing the traction and reliability we needed to get the job done.”
Finishing fourth overall was the #45 Jester & Babbitt Racing by Flying Lizard Motorsports Toyo Tires Audi R8 LMS GT4. It was entered in the Toyo Tires GT Challenge class where it took first as the only entry. The all-women team included Christina Nielsen, Aurora Straus, Ashton Harrison, Laura Ely, and Erin Vogel. The Audi R8 also used Toyo Proxes Slicks and is a different chassis and spec than the #45 Audi R8 LMS which won the 25 Hours overall from 2015 – 2017.
“Each victory with the Toyo Tires and Flying Lizard Motorsports team has been memorable but to have our fourth overall win truly be one for the record books is incredible,” said Marc Sanzenbacher, senior manager, motorsports, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. “It is a testament to everyone’s commitment and hard work, as well as to the race-winning quality and performance of our Proxes tires.”
“Our relationship with Toyo Tires started as a tire development program and has evolved to make us the winningest team at the longest race in North America,” said Flying Lizard Program Manager Darren Law. “I’m so proud of everyone on our team for the effort they put in for this event to bring us our fourth straight win. This is one of the most challenging events we run in, and this year was no exception. Everyone on our team executed their jobs perfectly, and we’re proud to be back on the top step again this year.”
Overall it was a highly successful 25 Hours for Toyo Tires. Forty-three percent of the available podium positions were captured by Toyo Proxes competition tires.
To learn more about the competition-proven Toyo Tires products such as the Proxes RS1 full-slick; the Proxes RR, Proxes R888R, Proxes RA1 DOT-competition tires; and the 200-treadwear Proxes R1R; log onto www.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 more than 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 Georgia. To find the right tire for your vehicle as well as an authorized dealer, visit www.toyotires.com. You can also join the Toyo Tires community on Facebook, Instagram, 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.