Petersen/ White Lightning Moves to Second in ALMS GT Points LAKEVILLE, Conn., July 5, 2004 -- Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing, with a fifth-place GT class finish--11th overall-- in today's New England Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park,...
Petersen/ White Lightning Moves to Second in ALMS GT Points
LAKEVILLE, Conn., July 5, 2004 -- Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing, with a fifth-place GT class finish--11th overall-- in today's New England Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park, has unofficially moved into sole possession of second place in both the IMSA Cup and driver points' standings. In what is widely considered the most competitive class in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), the GT class again showed itself as the most spirited battle in the two hour, 45-minute race. Rain loomed over the 1.54-mile road course as David Murry, Cumming, Ga., started the No. 31 Westward Ho Casino/ MMPIE/ PAWS/ Michelin Porsche 911 GT3 RSR from the fifth spot of the 13-car GT field. The rain began to fall as the cars entered their pace laps forcing a pit stop for grooved, rain tires on the third lap. However, despite radar suggestions to the contrary, the rain cleared forcing a change back to Michelin Pilot racing slicks. Several teams made a similar move but, two teams, both of which would finish ahead of the Michael Petersen-owned race team at the checkered flag, risked staying on dry tires throughout the downpour making the difference in the end. Murry drove the first half of the event handing the No. 31 Porsche over to Craig Stanton, Long Beach, Calif. on lap 85. Stanton, like Murry before him, pushed the car as hard as possible on the tight, seven-turn facility, but was never able to make up the two lap deficit earned by the winning team by remaining on slicks through the rain.
The No. 31 entered the New England Grand Prix tied for second in IMSA Cup points- an award given highest finishing privateer effort- and leaves with sole possession of the position after today's event. Petersen/ White Lightning has unofficially earned 44 points toward the IMSA Cup. Stanton and Murry hold sole possession of second place in the driver standings as well going into the fourth race of the season on July 18th at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. The Dale White-managed team has taken three top-five finishes (following two third-places) in as many ALMS races in 2004. The team also won the GT class in the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.
Dale White, team manager: "We are obviously pleased to take-over sole possession of second-place in the IMSA Cup and in the drivers' points, but we aren't all that happy with our weekend. Everyone at Petersen/ White Lightning is working very hard but we just didn't get the result we wanted. Fifth-place is not why this team comes to the track. Now I'm more eager than ever to get to Sonoma."
David Murry: "We knew the rain was coming with our 'Doppler Radar' in the pits so we came in and put on rain tires. It looked like we were going to get some more rain. We went back out and sure enough, two laps later it was dry. So, we came back in and put slicks on. We were in good shape with the other guys that did that [came in for rain tires] but, compared to the guys that didn't do that, the J3 guys and the Risi guys, we lost out. It's unfortunate that we couldn't do better but on a short track like this, it doesn't take long to get a lap down."
Craig Stanton: "The Petersen/ White Lightning team did a good job today. We got snookered with the rain. We thought it was going to rain harder than it did. So we put David out on rain tires and, unfortunately, it was drying faster than it was coming down. We did fight back. David had to do most of the fighting but there was a little fighting for me and we picked-up a couple of spots. I want to wish everyone a happy Fourth of July."
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