Dale White Named Finalist in American Le Mans "From the Fans" Voting
"Most Popular Driver" Voting Opens for Jörg Bergmeister and Patrick Long
LAS VEGAS, Nev., September 18, 2006 -- Voting for two of the most esteemed awards in the American Le Mans Series have opened and Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing is well represented. The most exciting news coming from the American Le Mans Series relating to these two awards is that Petersen/White Lightning Team Manager and Entrant Dale White (Bozeman, MT) has been nominated as one of the five finalists for the prestigious "From The Fans" award. Only the five people who have been deemed by the fans as having the greatest impact on the Series this season are eligible for final voting for the "From The Fans" award. White was chosen in two weeks of nominations and now moves into final voting which ends October 1 at www.AmericanLeMans.com.
The "Most Popular Driver" award is open to every driver who competes regularly in the American Le Mans Series. Petersen/White Lightning drivers Jörg Bergmeister (Langenfeld, Germany) and Patrick Long (Las Vegas) are both eligible for the award. Bergmeister, the only non-factory driver to win the GT2 title since 1999, and Long, the first American to win the title since '99, have combined for two victories thus far in '06 (Lime Rock and Road America), four podiums and two pole positions. Bergmeister is currently ranked second in the driver standings while Long is third, having missed the season-opening race in the No. 31 MMPIE/PAWS/Michelin Porsche 911 GT3 RSR to drive the Porsche RS Spyder in LMP2 class.
White, who is the owner of White Lightning Racing, is in his seventh year of American Le Mans Series competition with partner Michael Petersen (Las Vegas, Nev.). Petersen/White Lightning became the first privately entered GT2 class team to win the American Le Mans Series title in 2005 taking the Team, Driver and IMSA Cup Championships. The two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans class winners (2003 with Alex Job Racing and 2004) won five races including the 12 Hours of Sebring on their way to the championship bettering the full-factory efforts. Overall, the team has eight American Le Mans Series GT2 race victories since 2003. Thus far in 2006, White has led the team to two victories, the most of any Porsche team, and two pole positions. They are currently ranked second in the GT2 team championship with the Petit Le Mans and Monterey Sports Car Championships, both of which they won in 2005, remaining. The team is also entered in the Klein Tools Pit Crew Challenge Finals at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca after dominating the Road America round of the pit stop contest. This is the first year that any member of Petersen/White Lightning has been nominated for this most prestigious of all American Le Mans Series awards. Past recipients include Dr. Don Panoz, Dave Maraj and Doug Fehan.
Both awards highlight not only on-track results but off-track performance as well with overall positive impact on the Series a major part of the voting decision. Petersen/White Lightning and its drivers are heavily involved in major American Le Mans Series initiatives including the Salvation Army Grid Kids charity, the Porscheplatz and supply the two-seater "Media Car" at each event for media and VIP rides as well as any number of individual promotional efforts.
Voting is limited to one selection per category and can be done in the Forum section of www.AmericanLeMans.com. Voters must be registered as Forum members but registration is free and immediate. Voting for both awards runs through the Petit Le Mans weekend, closing on Sunday, Oct. 1. The winners will be announced at the American Le Mans Series Night of Champions Awards Banquet on October 22nd in Monterey, Calif.