Petersen / White Lightning Adds Luhr to Bergmeister-Long Combination for Sebring
SEBRING, Fla., March 4, 2005 -- Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing is proud to announce the addition of Porsche specialist Lucas Luhr to its driver lineup for the 53rd Running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on March 19th. Luhr will co-drive the No. 31 Westward Ho Casino/ MMPIE/ PAWS/ Michelin Porsche 911 GT3 RSR with previously announced Petersen/ White Lightning regulars Jorg Bergmeister (Langenfeld, Germany) and Patrick Long (Las Vegas, Nev.). The native of Germany, now living in Monaco, has won the classic 12 hour event four times in his career. The American Le Mans Series (ALMS) season-opening round at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway marks Luhr's third race behind the wheel of a Petersen/ White Lightning Porsche. The first two efforts, at the 24 Hours At Daytona in 2001 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2003, resulted in GT class (now known as GT2) victories.
The addition of Luhr, who won his first four attempts at Sebring and finished second in his fifth start, gives the Michael Petersen-owned team a trio of Le Mans winning drivers behind the wheel. Luhr, Bergmeister and Long have all earned victories at La Sarthe with Petersen/ White Lightning in the last two seasons. The '03 win was Luhr's third Le Mans title and the 2004 GT win marked the first for Bergmeister and Long.
Among his many accomplishments, Luhr has won 18 ALMS GT races- second in the all-time record book- and was the ALMS GT champion in 2002 and 2003 driving for Porsche. Turning his attentions from the ALMS to the FIA N-GT championship in 2004, Luhr again proved his skill by taking the championship in his first season in that series. On his way to the N-GT championship, the Porsche factory driver earned seven class victories and three additional podium finishes. Included in those podium results was a remarkable third overall in a field of over 200 entries at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring.
The Mobil 1 Twelve Hour marks the start of Petersen/ White Lightning's third full-season of ALMS competition. Included in the 2005 schedule are ten ALMS races in North America and the team's third appearance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Las Vegas-based race team has finished on the GT podium the last two seasons at Sebring with a second in 2003 and a third in '04. They finished third in ALMS GT team points in 2004 as a result of six podium finishes.
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Michael Petersen, team owner: "Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing is looking forward to the return of Lucas to our team. He is no stranger to us and we look forward to his abilities helping the team at Sebring. We are very eager for the start of the 2005 season. With the drivers we have selected, it should be very interesting indeed!"
Dale White, team manager: "Lucas is on anyone's short list as a driver and I am very excited that he will be in our Porsche for Sebring. Having worked with him at Le Mans in 2003 and Daytona in '01, Mike and I knew that we wanted to get him into the Westward Ho Porsche again. He is a natural selection to drive in the [number] 31 car at the 12 Hour. We are returning to a three-man lineup and with the three guys we have in the car, I feel as strong entering Sebring as I have about any race we have ever run."
Lucas Luhr, driver: "First off, all I can think of is that this is a good team. I won with this team at Daytona in '01 and with Mike and Dale at Le Mans in '03. With Patrick and Jorg I think we are really in good shape for the race in Sebring. I know the team will do everything to bring a good car to Sebring and I'm looking forward to racing with Petersen / White Lightning."