Petersen/ White Lightning Lightning Bolts - News and Notes for 2005: Month of December
Awards for the 2005 season continue to roll into the Las Vegas race shop of Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing. On November 26, the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO), sanctioning body for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, announced that the team had won the inaugural Automobile Club de France (ACF) Ecology Trophy for the LM GT2 class. The joint award of the ACO and ACF is presented to the team in each class that is deemed, through a complex set of calculations, to have the best environmentally friendly effort at Le Mans. The calculation takes into account both thermal efficiency (the index comprising average speed over total distance, weight of the car and fuel consumption) and noise level (this index is derived from the 20 lowest noise measurements taken during the race). The Petersen/ White Lightning Porsche 911 GT3 RSR -- driven by Jörg Bergmeister (Langenfeld, Germany), Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Patrick Long (Las Vegas) -- finished second in class while attempting to win their third-straight race at la Sarthe.
Mike Petersen (team owner): "This is quite a surprise and honor for Petersen/ White Lightning. The Ecology Trophy is a great idea and I compliment the ACO for stepping-up and doing this. Everyone needs to be more knowledgeable and work to maintain our environment. Even though people don't often think of motorsports and environmental friendliness at the same time, I think changing that is something very worthwhile to strive for. Winning is always our top priority but this award is something very unique and special. We didn't set out to win this but I think it shows the overall efficiency of our program. We are certainly grateful for the ACO and ACF in recognizing that."
Road & Track
One of the most prominent automobile magazines in the world joined Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing recently for a day of driving the very best road and track cars ever crafted by Porsche. Senior Editor Kim Wolfkill piloted the 2005 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) GT2 Championship winning Petersen / White Lightning Porsche 911 GT3 RSR and a bright yellow Porsche Carrera GT, also owned by Michael Petersen. The laps at Pahrump, Nevada's Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch were for a head-to-head look at the premier iteration of Porsche's 911 and the Carrera GT, the most advanced Porsche street car ever built. Joining Wolfkill behind the wheel of the two cars -- both of which are capable of over 200 mph -- was '05 Petersen/ White Lightning driver Patrick Long (Las Vegas, Nev.). Long introduced Wolfkill, himself an accomplished racer, to the yellow, white and red Porsche that he co-drove with Jörg Bergmeister (Langenfeld, Germany) to the Team, Driver and IMSA Cup championships in '05 while Michael Petersen introduced both to the Carrera GT. All three exchanged notes on the day. The track activities will appear in an upcoming issue of Road & Track magazine and on their web site (www.RoadandTrack.com). Select images of the day can currently be seen at www.PetersenMotorsports.com.
It has long been a vision of Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing owner Michael Petersen (Las Vegas) and team manager Dale White (Bozeman, Mt.) to win in every major endurance event in the world. The two are well on their way with victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans ('03 and '04), the 24 At Daytona ('01), the 12 Hours of Sebring ('05), the Petit Le Mans ('05), the 6 Hours At The Glen ('98) and the Monterey Sports Car Championships ('05) already crossed-off the list in sports car racing. Prior to becoming one of the most decorated, privately-owned Porsche teams in road racing, the pair joined to dominate off-road competition for Chevrolet. In total they earned four victories (three overall) in both the Baja 1000 and Baja 500 as well as over 50 other major victories. Now, Petersen and White will begin a serious effort at conquering what is considered the most daunting of all motorsports events: Dakar. For Dakar 2006, the two will follow only the early stages of the event to get more acquainted with the overall procedures and processes in participating in such a major event. With the knowledge learned during these early "sprints", as well as over a decade of international motorsports experience, they will begin serious preparations on an assault planned for 2007 or '08. This is the second time the two longtime partners have visited Dakar, the first coming in 2001. Crew chief Stefan Pfeiffer (Croatia) is a multi-time participant in the world-renowned rally. Petersen and White will travel to Lisboa, Portugal for the December 31st competitor briefing and first stage. From there they will travel with the Dakar race through to the south of Spain. They will then return to the United States to prepare for the 2006 ALMS season. Overall, the event will travel from Lisboa to Dakar, Africa completing the 15 stages on January 15 after covering 9,043 kilometers.
Patrick Long (Las Vegas) will represent his teammate Jörg Bergmeister (Langenfeld, Germany) and Petersen/ White Lightning at the annual American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters (ARRWBA) Banquet in Indianapolis, Ind. on December 3. Long and Bergmeister have been named to the 2005 AARWBA All-American Auto Racing Team's First Team in the "At Large" category. The two GT2 Champions were the only ALMS drivers named to the 2005 First Team. * Team owner Michael Petersen (Las Vegas) and crew chief Stefan Pfeiffer (Croatia) will join 2005 drivers Bergmeister and Long at the annual Porsche Motorsports Banquet in Weissach, Germany on December 10th. * Team manager Dale White has traded his desert view in Nevada for a mountain view in Montana. White, a lifelong resident of Nevada, has moved from Las Vegas to Bozeman. Petersen/ White Lightning will continue to be based in Las Vegas and White will continue to be team manager of the 2005 GT2 champions. * Two new features have been added to www.PetersenMotorsports.com to entertain and educate fans of the team. New to the "Team" section is a live pit stop showing the sequence of events that one of the fastest pit crews in the business undergoes to prepare the No. 31 MMPIE/ PAWS/ Michelin Porsche 911 GT3 RSR to return to competition. The second feature, shown in the "Porsche" section, is a breakdown of the working elements of the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. This detailed image illustrates several of the key mechanical components of the Petersen/ White Lightning Porsche.
More on Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing can be found at www.PetersenMotorsports.com.