Jörg Bergmeister Named to 2006 AARWBA All-American Team
Petersen/White Lightning Driver Earns Top Honor in Road Racing Category
LAS VEGAS, Nev., December 6, 2006 -- Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing driver Jörg Bergmeister (Langenfeld, Germany) has been named to the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association's (AARWBA) 2006 All-American Team. It is the two-time American Le Mans Series GT2 Champion's second consecutive year to be named to the First Team. In 2005, Bergmeister, along with Petersen/White Lightning co-driver Patrick Long (Las Vegas, Nev.) made the First Team in the "At Large" category. This year, Bergmeister, who won both the American Le Mans Series GT2 Championship with Petersen/White Lightning and the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype Championship, captured the honors in the Road Racing category. The prestigious recognition comes to Bergmeister following voting by the members of AARWBA over the course of the last several weeks.
Bergmeister will represent the road racing community in the final voting for the Jerry Titus Award. The Titus Award is given in remembrance of racer and journalist Jerry Titus and will be presented to the leading vote-receiver for all categories. Other category recipients this year include 2006 Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar Series champion Sam Hornish, Jr., '06 NASCAR Champion Jimmie Johnson, NHRA Champion John Force and ChampCar Champion Sebastian Bourdais. Bergmeister, teamed with Long, won three American Le Mans Series GT2 races including his fourth consecutive Petit Le Mans as well as victories at Lime Rock and Road America. Along with Bergmeister's second GT2 Driver's title, the Michael Petersen (Las Vegas) owned and Dale White (Bozeman, MT.) managed team won its second IMSA Cup for privateer entrants in the GT2 class.
"To be named to the AARWBA All-American team two years in a row is a very big honor for me," commented Bergmeister while testing in Florida. "To receive the most votes in the road racing category is almost unbelievable. There are so many great drivers from all over the world racing sports cars in the States that to receive the most votes of any is pretty humbling to be honest. If you had asked me after the first few races of the year if I would even be on the team I would have said 'no'. Our bad luck began to really change in the middle of the season. We had a lot of success in both series and I owe my teammates and my teams for that. I have said it many times before but it is true; you can't do this alone. I worked with two very different teams in two very different series but one thing was the same for sure; every guy on both teams wanted to win. I just did my best and benefited from it all coming together. I definitely want to thank the teams, series, AARWBA and everyone that voted for me to receive such a great honor. I am very grateful."
Bergmeister and the other AARWBA All-American Team drivers will be honored at the annual AARWBA banquet on January 13 in Indianapolis. The 2006 Jerry Titus Award will be announced that evening during the banquet at the Hyatt Regency.
Other sports car drivers nominated to the AARWBA All-American team include Rinaldo Capello and Alan McNish (American Le Mans Series P1 Champions), Scott Pruett and Luis Diaz (second-place to Bergmeister in the Grand American Daytona Prototype class) on the First Team. Olivier Beretta and Oliver Gavin (American Le Mans Series GT1 Champions) were listed on the Second Team.