Corsa Motorsports Joins White Lightning Racing in 2007 American Le Mans Series Effort Tooele, Utah, February 13, 2007 -- Dale White (Bozeman, MT) and Steve Pruitt (Sandy, Utah) made the joint announcement today that Pruitt's Corsa Motorsports...
Corsa Motorsports Joins White Lightning Racing in 2007 American Le Mans Series Effort
Tooele, Utah, February 13, 2007 -- Dale White (Bozeman, MT) and Steve Pruitt (Sandy, Utah) made the joint announcement today that Pruitt's Corsa Motorsports will join forces with White Lightning Racing in the 2007 American Le Mans Series GT2 class this season. The combined operation, known as Corsa Motorsports/White Lightning Racing, will field the No. 32 EquiWest/Michelin Ferrari F430 GT beginning with the March 17th season-opening Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. The No. 32 Ferrari F430 GT will run side-by-side with the 2005 and 2006 American Le Mans Series GT2 class Driver and IMSA Cup Championship-winning No. 31 MMPIE/PAWS/Michelin Ferrari F430 GT of Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing. The No. 31 program continues to be owned by Michael Petersen (Las Vegas, Nev.). White will manage both teams as one.
In addition to the announcement of the program, Pruitt and White also announced the primary drivers who will pilot the EquiWest F430 GT; Maurizio Mediani (Reggio Emilia, Italy) and Rui Aguas (Portugal). Mediani comes to Corsa/White Lightning with three American Le Mans Series starts, all coming in 2006 in a Ferrari F430 GT where he finished second twice. As a key development driver with Ferrari for the past four years, Mediani helped develop the F430 GT for Ferrari Challenge and international GT competition. Like Mediani, Aguas also has a longtime tradition with Ferrari. Though he has never competed in the American Le Mans Series, the Portuguese driver earned one victory and five podium finishes driving the F430 GT in the FIA GT series last season.
Pruitt, who is owner of Utah-based commercial real estate development firm EquiWest, is an experienced racer with four podiums finishes in the Ferrari Challenge Series and one start driving a Ferrari F430 GT in the Grand-Am Rolex Series in 2006. 2007 marks the first time Pruitt will be involved in the American Le Mans Series. While the Corsa/White Lightning Ferrari F430 GT will be headquartered in Pahrump, Nev., Pruitt also maintains facilities at the new Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele.
To differentiate the two Ferraris, the No. 32 Corsa entry will use the traditional Ferrari Rosso Scuderia red- the same color that the Scuderia Ferrari Formula One program paints its cars- as its base color. However, the core elements of the long-standing Petersen/White Lightning livery will carry on as the two cars will share the same neon yellow roof and trademark white lightning bolt down their flanks.
The Corsa entry will draw from the impressive talent pool that has been built-up around the two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans-winning Petersen/White Lightning team. Both teams will share not only White's oversight but the engineering expertise of Frank Funke (Wetter, Germany) and the skills of 2005 GT2 Mechanic of the Year, crew chief Dennis Chizma (Las Vegas). In a somewhat unique twist, the teams will also draw one more element from the world of Formula One; they will share the same pit crew. While some members of the team will be split solely between the 31 or the 32 entries in the paddock, during pit stops, the same "over-the-wall" crew will be utilized to change the Michelin tires and refuel the car. For the last several years, the Chizma-led team has been considered among the elite race-day crews in pit lane giving both cars an excellent opportunity at success. White and Funke will work strategy for both entries.
Steve Pruitt, Owner: "I would never have dreamed that I would be quoted for a press release of this nature two months ago. In the immortal words of Yogi Berra; 'when you come to the fork in the road, take it.' This opportunity virtually dropped out of nowhere just after Christmas and through the efforts of White Lightning Racing, we have brought this program together quickly. This represents a dream come true; the culmination of years of enthusiasm as a Ferrari owner, driver and everything Ferrari, most particularly its racing heritage. To be able to bring together the most iconic marquee in motorsports, driven by world class drivers, in the most prestigious sports car racing series in North America, all orchestrated by one of the most highly regarded and professional teams in motorsports represents not only a fulfilling opportunity but a great sporting challenge in what should be the most competitive class in all of motorsports this year -- GT2 in ALMS."
Dale White, Entrant/Team Manager: "This is a tremendous opportunity for our team. Steve contacted me in December regarding a different matter. We got along well right away and in the course of our conversation we had come to the conclusion that this was the best path to take. We are very excited to bring another Ferrari F430 GT into the American Le Mans Series. As anyone can see by the driver selections, there is no primary or secondary car on this team. We are gridding these cars with the intention of seeing both of them fighting for the victory. These are two, fully professional entries. By adding a second car we have doubled our research, our development and our opportunity for success. We can now go down two different setup paths in practice and then determine the best for both cars. That allows us to do so much more than we have ever done before. We can also establish two different strategies in the race reducing our chance of being caught by an unexpected twist in the race. We are all very excited about the new season and having Steve, Maurizio and Rui joining the team."
Scott Atherton, President and CEO of the American Le Mans Series: "Mike Petersen, Dale White and everyone at Petersen Motorsports and White Lightning Racing embody the spirit of sports car racing and Le Mans. They have been tremendous ambassadors for the American Le Mans Series in a number of areas and have played a vital role in our success, as have all our world-class independent teams. Given their benchmark overall operation, personal expertise and commitment to our sport, we have no doubt that the addition of the second Ferrari F430 GT and owner Steve Pruitt will provide the team and the Series an additional championship contender in what we expect to be the most competitive GT2 class in our history."
-credit: Corsa Motorsports/White Lightning Racing