He's so Fly: Lindsey Pilots IMSA Drivers to Le Mans

Updated June 3, 2018

Patrick Lindsey and his band of IMSA drivers arrived into Airport Le Mans Arnage this afternoon, June 3 around 2p.m. CET. 

Lindsey flew from Detroit, Michigan into France to take part in the official test for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The flight and day of testing created its own endurance event for the Park Place Motorsports/Project 1 driver with a flight time of seven and a half hours combined with a day of testing in the No. 56 Porsche RSR.

As a Le Mans rookie Lindsey had to turn 10 laps in total at the test day, he completed the goal and then some. Lindsey and Team Project 1 set to work finding the perfect setup to carry them through the twice around the clock race. The team made headway in its efforts, but Lindsey admits there is still work to be done.

“It was a long day but everyone on the flight was really appreciative and we made good time,” Lindsey said. “I helped get the plane together after landing and then headed to the track, which is right next door, you see it when you land. We spent our day figuring out the car setup, we were a little off at the start. Towards the end I think the team started to figure a few things out. I could tell the difference between my first 10 laps and the few I did later in the day. We still have some time to get things sorted before the race. I think we’ll be right where we want to be by qualifying.”

 

DALLAS (June 1, 2018) - One week before the 24 Hours of Le Mans a mandatory one-day test day occurs in Le Mans, France. 

The test causes a mad scramble for IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship drivers competing in Detroit, Michigan, just two days before the event. With few flight options available to get the drivers into Le Mans on time, most resort to sharing private jet charters. This year, many IMSA drivers are relying on one of their own to get them to France.

Patrick Lindsey, driver of the No. 73 Park Place Porsche in the GT Daytona class will play Pilot in Command on a Gulfstream IV. The aircraft is supplied by Mira Vista Aviation, a Los Angeles based boutique jet management and charter company owned by Lindsey. Mira Vista specializes in large-cabin private jets capable of national and international travel as well as concierge service during the trip.

Lindsey plays both president and pilot when he’s not behind the wheel of his No. 73 Porsche GT3 R or No. 56 Porsche RSR – which he’ll be racing at Le Mans with Porsche Factory Driver Jörg Bergmeister and Egidio Perfetti. He was typed as a GIV captain during the offseason of 2016 as a strategic business move. Growing his list of pilots allowed his brokers to book more trips, however becoming a pilot had been a childhood dream of Lindsey’s.

Now, his dream worlds collide as Lindsey transports a cabin of IMSA drivers and himself to Le Mans for the mandatory test day. The list of passengers includes fellow Porsche drivers Patrick Long and Christina Nielsen as well as Ben Keating, Renger Van der Zande and other well-known faces. 

“Many logistics go into flying just like there are a lot of logistics to racing,” Lindsey said. “Flying private is a huge advantage when we’re talking about the movement schedule between Detroit and the Le Mans test. It allows you to fly into an FBO (Fixed Base Operator) that is directly next to the track and saves you from being in the mercy of the airlines in Detroit. Everyone arrives fresh for a day of testing.

“Honestly, I don’t know that there is a commercial flight out of Detroit that works as well as a private trip. There’s space to relax and to move about the cabin. The flight also becomes more affordable as the cost is split between drivers. It would work out to a similar cost to a first-class airline ticket, possibly cheaper because you won’t need transportation to the track.”

While his passengers are recovering from their efforts at the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Presented by Lear, Lindsey will hope to quickly recover from the nine-hour flight over the Atlantic in time for his first taste of the French track. The 86th running of Le Mans is Lindsey’s first attempt at the endurance event; the test is his first time on the historic street circuit. He will sit out the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Presented by Lear as Park Place Motorsports is currently committed to running endurance events this season in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition.

The official test day at Le Mans includes nearly every team set to take the grid for the 86th running of Le Mans. The team’s get a chance to scope out the competition and regain their bearings during two, four-hour sessions. The first session takes place Sunday, June 3, from 9 a.m. through 1 p.m. CET and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free to general enclosure ticket holders. 

The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Presented by Lear takes place Saturday, June 2 at 12:40 p.m. ET. The 24 Hours of Le Mans takes place June 16 and 17 in Le Mans, France with the green flag set to drop at 3 p.m. local time. To stay current on Park Place Motorsports news visit parkplacemotorsports.com