With the help of Kelly Moss Motorsports, Colin Thompson will make his IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship debut with Flying Lizard Motorsports March 21 at the Twelve Hours of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway, another example of Kelly Moss’ continued development of its young driver.
Kelly Moss Vice President Jeff Stone has an established relationship with Darren Law, Flying Lizard program manager. Law and Stone raced together, and Law also served as a driver coach for Kelly Moss.
“We put together a program with the help of Darren that’s going to be great for Colin,” Stone said. “I’ve known Darren for a long time, and Colin rounds out a really great lineup. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Thompson will join Marco Holzer and Robert Thorne in the No. 45 Audi R8 LMS in the GT Daytona class during the endurance classic at Sebring. Thompson opened his 2015 season March 7-8 by winning both rounds of the new Pirelli World ChallengeÒ GT Cup presented by MOMO class at Circuit of the Americas (COTA).
“From what I understand, the car has a lot more aerodynamics and assists than what I’m driving now,” Thompson said. “I’ve been such a fan of Flying Lizard Motorsports for so long. I’m excited to fly their colors and hopefully do them proud.”
Kelly Moss is accelerating Thompson’s climb up the racing ladder through the opportunity with championship-winning GT team Flying Lizard. In just a single season with Kelly Moss, Thompson has won the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama Platinum Cup Championship with 11 podium finishes, including three victories, qualified for the Porsche Young Driver Academy and participated in Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup rounds at COTA.
“With all of our young drivers, we don’t want them to just achieve a single goal,” Stone said. “But we want to help them through what it takes to be a professional driver. We’re not just an IMSA paddock championship team. Our connections are everywhere. We want to take these guys like Colin and develop their skills and give them what they need to make this a career path.”
Stone and Thompson already have started conversations with European Supercup and Carrera Cup teams, looking forward in Thompson’s career. But while he competes in the Pirelli World Challenge GT Cup, Thompson also will be back under the Kelly Moss tent for the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama in a different role.
“We’re bringing Colin in as a driver coach to work with our IMSA guys,” Stone said. “We want him to develop that side of work. He’ll be working under some of the best driver coaches and will bring a good perspective as the reigning champion.”
As Kelly Moss continues its development of Thompson, the team is bringing a new young driver to the team for Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama competition. Jesse Lazare will make his Kelly Moss debut March 18-20 at Sebring International Raceway.
Lazare, 17, from Pointe Claire, Quebec, finished seventh in Platinum Cup Championship points last year. It’s a similar spot to Thompson’s eighth-place standing in 2013, the year before he jumped to Kelly Moss and won the championship.
“We know he’s fast – he’s very fast,” Stone said of Lazare. “But now we need to work on the rest of the package: the racecraft, the little things, the humility it takes to be a championship-caliber driver. The raw talent is there. He’s definitely a championship contender.”
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