SONOMA, Calif., (January 11, 2022) – Known for its long-running history and resume of success racing Porsche machinery, sports car racing champions Flying Lizard Motorsport will continue their legacy with the German manufacturer this season, entering three cars into the USAC Porsche Sprint Challenge North America. Longtime Lizard racers Chris Bellomo, Paul Bonderson, and Mike Gaulke, who raced previously in the Yokohama Drivers Cup USA will represent the team in both the North America and West championships.
“I am really looking forward to the new challenge in 2022 in the Porsche Sprint Challenge,” said Program Manager Darren Law. “All our drivers had such a great season last year and we came away with two Championships. This is good momentum to start the new year with. Chris has taken delivery of a 992 Cup so we have a new model to get familiar with, we have planned additional testing and development and we’re making a change in engineering. We have brought on Joe La Joie as an engineer this year. This is somewhat of a reconnection between him and me. He engineered several cars for me when I drove, and I feel he will be a great addition to our program. He is very methodical and has experience with Porsche. We know that the competition will be tougher and our drivers will have some new tracks to learn but this is a great group of people and should be a lot of fun.”
Having just concluded a successful season where he expanded his racing resume, Chris Bellomo holds previous experience in the USAC Porsche Sprint Challenge, having run the double-header event at Circuit of the Americas in 2021. After finishing eighth in his series debut in race one, he followed it up with a fifth-place finish in race two. Racing his Porsche 991 GT3 Cup Car, Bellomo also ran a full season in the Yokohama Drivers Cup where he secured the Platinum class Divers Championship with eight wins and an additional ten podiums. He also expanded to IMSA’s Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands series, where he closed out the year with two podiums at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. This season, Bellomo will race his 2021 992 Porsche GT3 Cup car in the ten Porsche Sprint Challenge events across North America, beginning with the season opener March 11-13 at Sebring International Raceway. After several years of racing a custom white, orange, and yellow livery, Bellomo’s Porsche will sport the iconic Flying Lizard livery the team has sported since 2004 but will switch out the traditional red and silver for grey and orange. Returning as Bellomo’s driver coach will be former Lizard Johannes van Overbeek, who worked with Chris last season to help secure the Drivers Championship.
“This year we are looking to build on our 2021 season with a new car, new livery, and new series. We will be racing a 2021 992 Porsche GT3 Cup car in Porsche Sprint Challenge in both West and National series. Johannes and I are looking forward to testing and becoming familiar with the new car to prepare for our first race of the season at Sebring. We will have a few new tracks to prepare for with testing and look forward to working with our new engineer, Joe La Joie. We are hoping for another successful year with FLM and are excited to race with our updated FLM livery!”
Paul Bonderson’s Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 MR will be the easiest Porsche for die-hard Lizard fans to spot, sporting the traditional Flying Lizard Motorsport red and silver livery fans have come to know and love. Bonderson also recently completed a successful season, earning two podiums and an impressive 13 top-five finishes in the Yokohama Drivers Cup.
“This will be my first season with the USAC Porsche Sprint Challenge,” said Bonderson. “I am looking forward to learning new tracks, meeting new competitors, learning a lot, and having fun. I can’t wait to start the season at Sebring, a new track for me.”
Fresh off his own championship title celebration, Mike Gaulke matched his teammates’ excitement for the approaching season. In the Yokohama Drivers Cup Silver class, Gaulke raced his white and orange liveried Porsche to the class and overall championship titles with 20 podiums in 22 races. He and his Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 MR will join the team in their full-season Porsche Sprint Challenge endeavors, racing in the GT4 class. Gaulke will have Thomas Merrill return again for another year as his driver coach.
“Coming off last season, which was my best ever, winning the Yokohama Drivers Cup class championship in GT4 as well as the overall points championship, I am looking forward to competing in this year’s Porsche Sprint Challenge,” said Gaulke. “The increased level of competition and four new tracks will present new challenges, but that is the joy of this sport. I am very fortunate to have the support of a storied race team in Flying Lizard Motorsports, an outstanding coach in Thomas Merrill, and a trusted crew chief in Cris Weber. I am excited to get back on track!”
For future event and tune-in information, visit lizardms.com to subscribe to the team’s distributions and further season updates.
2022 Porsche Sprint Challenge Schedule
March 11-13 Sebring International Raceway
April 1-3 WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
April 15-17 Sonoma Raceway
April 22-24 Ozarks International Raceway (GT4 only)
June 3-5 VIRginia International Raceway
July 1-3 Mid-Ohio SportsCar Course (GT3 only)
July 29-31 Road America
August 12-14 Utah Motorsport Campus
September 1-3 Indianapolis Motor Speedway
September 16-18 Circuit of the Americas
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 ten driver and team championships, as well as competed internationally at the 24 Hours of Le Mans eight times.
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 in 2016, 2017, and 2018. The 2020 season proved the team’s most successful to date, earning four titles in the GT4 America championship. Flying Lizard Motorsports has proven to be a championship contender no matter the race series or race car. For more information, visit lizardms.com.