Laguna Seca: Peterson Motorsports race report

Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing adds to podium tally MONTEREY, Calif., September 7, 2003 - Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing came to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with three top-five American Le Mans Series (ALMS) GT class ...

Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing adds to podium tally

MONTEREY, Calif., September 7, 2003 - Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing came to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with three top-five American Le Mans Series (ALMS) GT class finishes in three events, including a class victory in the Road America 500. They added to that tally today with a third-place finish here in Monterey, Calif. Despite an appendectomy only eight days ago, Long Beach, California's Craig Stanton started the No. 31 Westward Ho Casino/MMPIE/PAWS/XtraJet/Justice Brothers Porsche 911 GT3 RS third on the grid. Stanton piloted the Michelin-tired Porsche into the lead in the first turn of the race and would keep the car in the top-five for the first half of the two hour and 45 minute event. He handed the Michael Petersen-owned car over to Warfield, England's Johnny Mowlem one hour and thirty-minutes into the race. Mowlem spent his stint chasing down the No. 35 Ferrari 360 GT of Anthony Lazzaro and Ralf Kelleners but, despite cutting the gap in-half, was unable to catch the second place car. The White Lightning-prepared entry earned a second in the opening round of the ALMS season at Sebring, a fifth at Infineon Raceway and a win at Road America.

"I drove my heart out," commented Mowlem after the podium celebration. "It was just too big of a gap to overcome. The Petersen/White Lightning team did an awesome job and Craig did a fantastic job at the start. We hoped to get a yellow that would have closed the gap some but in the end it was left to us to make it up. I got half of it back but it was just too much at the end to overcome."

"We tried to catch the Ferrari and we were gaining on it little-by-little," offered White. "We knew overcoming the gap would be tough so, towards the end, we just tried to put up as much pressure on them as we could hoping to run them out of fuel. They had a great run and called it perfectly. We come here to win so, honestly, third is a disappointment. We're on the podium though so that is something."

Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing began operation in the late 1980s competing in off-road endurance events. The duo of Petersen and White joined to win over 50 off-road truck victories including three-consecutive overall wins at the Baja 1000 and Baja 500 and four SCORE, SNORE and SODA championships. Since introducing the team to sports car racing, the effort has scored victories in the ALMS, the Trans-Am Series, Speed Challenge Series and endurance sports car wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Watkins Glen and at the Rolex 24 of Daytona.

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Series ALMS
Drivers Ralf Kelleners , Anthony Lazzaro , Johnny Mowlem , Michael Petersen