3-Time Champ to Team with Dumbreck and Muller in Petit Le Mans Defense Effort BRASELTON, Ga. September 19, 2007 - Two-time defending Petit Le Mans GT2 class victor Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing announces the return of three-time ...
3-Time Champ to Team with Dumbreck and Muller in Petit Le Mans Defense Effort
BRASELTON, Ga. September 19, 2007 - Two-time defending Petit Le Mans GT2 class victor Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing announces the return of three-time American Le Mans Series Champion Lucas Luhr (born in Koblenz, Germany but now living in Ermatingen, Switzerland) to drive for the program at Petit Le Mans and in the Monterey Sports Car Championships. Luhr has been given special permission by Audi AG of Germany to join the Michael Petersen (Las Vegas, Nev.) owned team at the two endurance events that close the 2007 North American sports car season. The factory Audi pilot will co-drive at the October 6th 10 Hour or 1,000 mile Petit Le Mans with Toyota factory driver Peter Dumbreck (born in Scotland but living in Adderbury, England) and Ferrari factory ace Dirk Muller (a native of Germany now living in Monaco). Due to prior commitments Muller will miss the Series' finale on October 20th at Laguna Seca where Luhr and Dumbreck will pair behind the wheel of the No. 31 MMPIE/PAWS/Petersen Holdings/Michelin Ferrari F430 GT.
The Road Atlanta (Braselton, Ga.) hosted 10th Anniversary of the Petit Le Mans will not be Luhr's first time behind the wheel of the Dale White (Bozeman, MT) managed No. 31. In fact, the combination has overwhelmed the competition each time it has worked together in the past. Together, the Nevada-based team and Luhr have three GT/GT2 class victories in three attempts at the world's most challenging endurance sports car events: the Daytona 24 ('01), 24 Hours of Le Mans ('03) and the 12 Hours of Sebring ('05). Petit Le Mans also marks the return of one of the most formidable driving duos in early American Le Mans Series history. In 2000, Luhr and Muller combined for four class wins and seven podiums. Muller took the GT class, now known as GT2, championship over Luhr by only seven points that season.
Impressively, Luhr has won 23 of the 54 American Le Mans Series races he has entered to-date. 19 of those titles came in GT/GT2 placing him second, all- time on the class victories list. The remaining four victories came last season in the LMP2 prototype category. Luhr has earned 15 pole positions across the two classes since joining the American Le Mans Series in 2000. He also holds the distinction of winning five of his first six attempts, including the first four straight, at the 12 Hours of Sebring. That tally includes the '05 title with Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing.
Luhr won the GT class of the Petit Le Mans in 2002 and has stood on the podium there two other times ('03 in GT and '06 in LMP2 class). He has four class wins (GT- '02,'03,'05 and LMP2- '06) at the Monterey Sports Car Championships at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Audi Motorsport signed the 2004 FIA N-GT Champion to a contract entering the 2007 season. Since that time he has been racing the Audi A4 DTM in the German Touring Car Championship and drove in the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2007 with the diesel powered sport prototype Audi R10 TDI.
Michael Petersen, Owner: "We are looking forward to Lucas' return to Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing and to the Series. It will be a great pairing of drivers. We are really going to put our best foot forward and try to get to the top for the last two races of the year. This year has been very tough on the entire team and with the opportunity to add Lucas, Dale and I could not pass him up. I know that the entire team is looking forward to getting to Atlanta to get the Petersen/White Lightning Ferrari to the top spot on the podium."
Dale White, Team Manager/Entrant: "We knew that we needed to have a driver to replace Dirk at Laguna. We had spoken to a number of really talented drivers when Lucas' name came up. I contacted him not knowing what Audi's position on this would be. Fortunately, they were very supportive and we want to thank Audi AG for giving us the opportunity to bring Lucas back to the team for Petit and Laguna. We have learned this year the importance of having the right drivers and the right driver pairings in the car. Dirk and Peter have a great relationship and Lucas and Dirk have a strong past driving together. For once this season everything seems to be dropping into place with drivers. This brings a lot of additional excitement to the team to close '07 on the right foot."
Lucas Luhr, Driver: "I am really looking forward to working with Petersen/White Lightning again and to drive the GT Ferrari is for sure something. I asked Audi about this and they were very generous and let me do it. So when Dale and Mike asked me I said 'OK, why not?' To join the team was easy because I have known Dale and Mike since 2000 and I know how they work. So that made it easy. I have seen a lot of the races this year on MotorsTV. In the GT2 class it was always a good fight and I like that."
The 10th Anniversary Petit Le Mans will start at 11:15 AM (ET) on Saturday, October 6 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.