Laguna Seca: Petersen/White Lightning Racing qualifying report

MONTEREY, Calif. October 19, 2007 - Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing will start from second on the GT2 class grid in tomorrow's four hour Monterey Sports Car Championships here at Laguna Seca Raceway. Despite being held-up early in...

MONTEREY, Calif. October 19, 2007 - Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing will start from second on the GT2 class grid in tomorrow's four hour Monterey Sports Car Championships here at Laguna Seca Raceway. Despite being held-up early in the qualifying session Peter Dumbreck (born in Scotland but living in Adderbury, England) was able to maintain the peak edge of his Michelin Pilot racing slicks to put in a strong lap of one minute, 23.290 seconds around the 2.238-mile, 11-turn Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca circuit. The lap gave the Michael Petersen (Las Vegas/Southern Calif.) owned team its ninth front row start of the 2007 American Le Mans Series season. The No. 31 MMPIE/PAWS/Petersen Holdings/Michelin Ferrari F430 GT was just 4/10ths of a second off the fast time turned in the No. 62 Ferrari. Dumbreck, a Toyota factory driver, will be joined by Audi factory driver Lucas Luhr (born in Koblenz, Germany but now living in Ermatingen, Switzerland) in the final event in the 12 race American Le Mans Series season.

The Dale White (Bozeman, MT) managed team now turns its attention to preparing the V8-powered, mid- engine Italian exotic to its race form. The Monterey Sports Car Championships, a four hour endurance event, requires the teams and drivers to balance the outright speed of a two hour and 45-minute "sprint" race and the longer 10 and 12 hour "endurance" events. Included will be new half-shafts and starter as well as a thorough inspection of every component of the Ferrari. Following years of endurance sports car racing and endurance off road racing, the Dennis Chizma (Las Vegas) led team knows the intricacies of making a car last until the checkered flag. In the Euromilhões Dakar 2007, the world's most difficult endurance race earlier this year, the team was the second-highest finishing privateer entrant and in sports car racing the team has a remarkable running at the finish rate of 79% in races of four hours or greater.

The Nevada-based team has won the GT2 class of the Monterey Sports Car Championship in 2005 on the way to their first American Le Mans Series GT2 Driver, Team and IMSA Cup Championships. The two- time 24 Hours of Le Mans class winning team finished second in 2006 in the event clinching their second Driver and IMSA Cup titles. Overall, they have earned three podium finishes and five top-five finishes in their class in seven American Le Mans Series starts here at Laguna Seca. Today's front-row starting spot is the team's highest at the track.

Quotes

Dale White, Team Manager/Entrant: "Peter turned a great lap. Again it's a track he has never been to but he really stepped-up. I think he is very comfortable in the Ferrari now and it has shown all weekend."

Peter Dumbreck, Driver: "I am getting along well with the track. I think we still have work to do on the car to try and improve the balance. For my first qualifying in a Ferrari and my first visit to Laguna Seca I am quite happy with the front row of the grid. I thought in the beginning I'd leave a bit of a gap but the problem was that by the time I was fully on it I was catching those other cars. Then I had to pass a couple of cars during fast laps so maybe things could have been a little better. If I had three laps on my own I could have raised the time a little bit but I am happy with the lap. I am not sure if I could have seen the time of the pole position. The race is a different matter though. We need to work on stabilizing the car in the high speed corners to improve its race pace. You have to watch for the other cars but I feel happy with the circuit. At Atlanta I felt like I had to be watching in my mirrors so much. Here I feel a little bit more relaxed. Hopefully that will stand us in good stead for the race."

Lucas Luhr, Driver: "I am scared about the traffic and I hope that no one hits us. It is much easier to run a prototype because you just have to get around someone. But, in a GT2 car you have to race each other and watch behind you. It will be a busy race for sure. The car is good and hopefully we can finish up front somewhere."

The Monterey Sports Car Championship will start at 2:43 PM (PT) on Saturday, October 20 with live television coverage on SPEED Channel. The event can also be heard live on the American Le Mans Series Radio Web, available through the American Le Mans Series web site.

Credit: pwlr

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