White Lightning Racing Takes Green Flag Third for GP of Mosport Ferraris 1-2-3 in Quallifying for American Le Mans Series Round Nine BOWMANVILLE, Ont., Canada, August 25, 2007 - For only the second time this...
White Lightning Racing Takes Green Flag Third
for GP of Mosport
Ferraris 1-2-3 in Quallifying for American Le Mans Series Round Nine
BOWMANVILLE, Ont., Canada, August 25, 2007 - For only the second time this season the No. 31 MMPIE/PAWS/Petersen Holdings/Michelin Ferrari F430 GT will not take the green flag from the American Le Mans Series GT2 class front row. Instead, Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing will take the start in Sunday's Grand Prix of Mosport from third position. Prior to tomorrow's two hour and 45-minute race, the Michael Petersen (Las Vegas, Nev.) owned team had sat on the front row in seven of the eight rounds of the 2007 season including three pole positions. Dirk Muller (a native of Germany now living in Monaco) set the third-fastest time (one minute, 18.453 seconds) on lap six of 12. Muller, who will turn the driving duties over to Peter Dumbreck (born in Scotland but living in Adderbury, England) at tomorrow's race midpoint, made a clean sweep for the trio of Ferrari F430 GTs. For the second consecutive race, Italy's exotic will start 1-2-3 on the grid.
As it did during the four-hour Road America race, the weather played havoc with the Dale White (Bozeman, MT) managed effort here at Mosport International Raceway. Wet conditions on and off during yesterday's test session and an almost totally washed-out first session today have kept the two-time American Le Mans Series GT2 Driver Championship- winning program from fine-tuning the car. Because of the weather, the team did not have an opportunity to do a simulated qualifying run on new Michelin tires. Lessons learned in the second practice will benefit tomorrow's race setup but with only ten minutes between the first dry session of the day and qualifying, the two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans-winning program was forced to leave time on the table. That likely made the difference between a pole position and third-place starting position.
Muller is making his first start at Mosport since finishing second in 2001. Dumbreck will be making his first start at Mosport, his second start in the American Le Mans Series and his second start in a Ferrari F430 GT. The transition has been very smooth for the Scot despite making his first two starts on two of North America's fastest race tracks; Road America and here at the 2.5 mile, 10-turn Mosport facility.
Dale White, Team Manager/Entrant: "We are very comfortable with where we are at right now. We didn't test here this week and most of the other teams did. We feel we are right where we want to be. We have focused on the race setup since we got on track yesterday. We really haven't had much dry track time so it is hard to make changes. Our times fell off very little over the course of a stint so we think we have the right setup for the race tomorrow."
Peter Dumbreck, Driver: "It is a similar situation to Road America for me, really. I know the car but it is a new circuit and it is a real ballsy circuit. I am trying to step it up step-by-step. I still feel I have a lot in me but I have had less driving here than in Road America because of the wet condition this morning. I'll get another drive in the warm-up tomorrow and try and get my head around the race setup and a full tank of fuel. I found a second today from yesterday and if I find another second then I am in the right area. It is really important to me not to make a silly mistake and throw the car off the circuit. So, I have to have confidence in my ability and know that my time will come when I have had a bit more time in the car. The track is old school. There is no room for error here. I think when you are really confident that you know your car and you know the circuit it would be quite fun to race here. The only down side is that it is quite small and quite narrow so the prototypes close on you very fast. It is a difficult situation because sometimes the faster cars don't know we are on the limit with the car and we have to work together to try and not have any silly accidents."
Dirk Muller, Driver: "I am really happy to be back here in Mosport on this awesome race track. The team did everything to give me the possibility to fight for the pole position but, unfortunately, on my first try on new tires I couldn't squeeze the last bit out. Therefore, I am a little bit, personally, disappointed with the third position. I am very confident that I could have done pole with the pre-qualifying trial in the second free practice. Now, I am looking forward to the race tomorrow because our Ferrari has really, really good race pace. I am confident we can finish on the podium."