Flying Lizard Motorsport and Michael Dinan secure GT4 America Sprint crown

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Flying Lizard Motorsports driver Michael Dinan unofficially secured the GT4 America Sprint Am championship in the No. 210 Aston Martin Vantage GT4, earning the team its seventh championship to date. Dinan, together with co-driver Robby Foley, celebrated another SprintX Pro/AM win in the No. 21 Aston Martin Vantage GT4.

“This has really been an amazing season for us,” said Program Manager Darren Law. “Focusing on not only good results every weekend but also keeping the big picture of the Championships in mind has been a priority for us and to have already clinched the Drivers Championship with Michael Dinan in the Sprint class with one weekend to go is a testament to the entire effort.

The SRO GT4 class is so competitive and there are a lot of great teams and drivers. With all of the changes in the series schedule a lot of pressure was put on the team and drivers this year. Michael has come a long way in a short time as a driver and Robby Foley has been a very big part of this. They work well together and Robby’s mentoring of Michael is really showing.

Sprint Race One

Knowing he would only be able to participate in two of the three races in the weekend, Dinan and Flying Lizard Motorsport entered Sprint race one with the goal to maximize as much as possible. He started third overall, and got shuffled back a few positions as the field aggressively made it through the opening turns. Holding second in class with a comfortable gap ahead and behind, he charged from fourth overall. He made quick work of his gap to the #91 of Jeff Burton, the Am class leader. With 22 minutes remaining, he made the pass and easily pulled away, with no pressure from behind, taking his first win of the weekend.

Sprint Race Three

Due to a family commitment, Michael Dinan missed Saturday’s race activities, tightening the battle for the Sprint and SprintX driver and team championships. The absence forced Dinan to start the No. 210 Aston Martin from the rear of the field, though as soon as the green flag waved, he charged forward, passing two cars by the exit of turn two. The following lap, he gained another position, executing every corner to get closer to Paul Terry. Terry did everything he could to keep the Rearden Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT4 as far ahead from Dinan as possible, but with every lap, Dinan continued to inch closer. With less than 20 minutes remaining, Dinan had made it to the front pack, engaging in a three way battle for the Am class lead. He made it to the front just before a full course caution came out, resulting in the field being brought back together for a sprint to the finish line. Dinan stayed cool and collected, quickly creating a comfortable gap over his competitors. He finished third overall and first in class, unofficially taking the Sprint Am driver title.

SprintX Race One

Michael Dinan and Robby Foley began SprintX race standing second in the driver points with Flying Lizard leading the team championship. With just one of two races to earn points, the pressure was on to earn the best result possible. Dinan started the race in the No. 21 Aston Martin from fifth place over all. Again, shenanigans in turn one shuffled the Aston Martin back two positions in the opening turns, but an early caution period brought the field back together and Dinan close to the competition. Dinan had a good battle with the No. 63 of Ben Anderson, eventually taking fifth place overall and the class lead as they reached the halfway point. Foley took over the driving duties just past the halfway point, immediately joining a three way battle for fourth place overall, and advanced to fight the No. 36 of Colin Mullan for second place. At the end of the 60 minutes, Foley had secured the Am class lead, finishing second overall. The result brought the pair within three points of the SprintX pro/Am class leaders.

Remaining Championship Battles

Although Dinan clinched the Sprint Am driver championship, Flying Lizard’s battle for the Am team title continues heading into the next race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In the SprintX Pro/Am championship, Dinan and Foley remain in the fight, standing just three points behind NOLASPORT’s Jason Hart and Matt Travis. In the SprintX Team championship, Flying Lizard leads NOLSASPORT by 13 points.

“With more championships to be decided, we still have a lot on the line at the final race of the year at Indianapolis in two weeks,” concluded Law. “We are very close in points for the Sprint-X Driver and Team Championships, as well as the Team Championship in Sprint. We are also still looking for Erin to continue her run to a podium finish with Michael Cooper in Sprint-X. She has had a difficult season as far as tough luck with car issues but we had a solid run this past weekend and look to close out the year with another good run at Indianapolis.”

The final rounds of the Sprint and SprintX Championships will take place at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), October 2-4. Each series will hold two final race events, and the race weekend will also be open to fans, a first for IMS this season.

Source material - Flying Lizards 
Photo credits - GT4 America
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