Road America: Petersen/White Lightning Racing qualifying report

Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing Nabs Seventh Front Row GT2 Start Muller and Dumbreck to Debut at Road America from Second on GT2 Grid ELKHART LAKE, Wisc., August 10, 2007 - Tomorrow's Generac 500 at Road America marks the seventh...

Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing Nabs Seventh Front Row GT2 Start
Muller and Dumbreck to Debut at Road America from Second on GT2 Grid

ELKHART LAKE, Wisc., August 10, 2007 - Tomorrow's Generac 500 at Road America marks the seventh GT2 class front row start in eight American Le Mans Series races this season for Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing. Dirk Muller (a native of Germany now living in Monaco) ran a lap of two minutes, 7.609 seconds in the No. 31 MMPIE/PAWS/Petersen Holdings/Michelin Ferrari F430 GT on his way to the second-fastest lap in qualifying. Ferrari's F430 GT took the top-three positions for tomorrow's four hour race. Making the feat of the Michael Petersen (Las Vegas, Nev.) owned team even more impressive is that prior to yesterday's test session, neither Muller nor teammate Peter Dumbreck (born in Scotland but living in Adderbury, England) had ever driven the Road America facility.

The 4.048-mile, 14-turn Road America track has traditionally been a favorite of the Dale White (Bozeman, MT) managed team. In 1998, the program earned its first road racing victory in the Trans-Am Series at Road America. They followed that in 2003 with their first American Le Mans Series GT2, then GT, class victory. Second and third American Le Mans Series Road America wins came the last two seasons. The team's total American Le Mans Series victory count is ten including this year's Utah Grand Prix.

The Nevada-based team opened the weekend impressively with the quickest time set in testing on Thursday (Muller with a lap of 2:09.492) and in this morning's first official practice (Dumbreck turning a 2:08.978 the first car to run faster than 2:09). Muller will start the No. 31 in tomorrow's race.

Dale White, Team Manager/Entrant: "We always want to be fastest but it's a four hour race. We're really pleased with the car right now. We think it will be consistent throughout the race tomorrow. Consistency is the key to winning an endurance race. Peter is up to speed even quicker than we hoped he would be and Dirk again showed he is one of the best. We're looking forward to the race tomorrow."

Peter Dumbreck, Driver: "I think overall it was a good day. Front row of the grid is a good achievement. From my personal point of view, I understand the car a lot more, and the track. I feel more comfortable. I still have a lot to learn but it is a long race so I have a lot of time to learn. I've really learned a lot about the Ferrari today; how to push it harder, how it reacts. It was completely different than yesterday when I was trying to learn the car and the track at the same time. The car really wants to be driven hard and, lap-by-lap, I learned that. By my last lap today I was still learning but I am happy with my progress. There are some secrets I still need to learn about the track. It seems one of those tracks that you can gain that extra bit from using curbs. You can easily pick-up a half a second by putting the car over the curb but the question is do you want to do that in the race? There is no point in giving it all that it has at the beginning of the race and having a broken suspension mid-race. I want to be consistent tomorrow; be nice and smooth. We are on a similar pace, Dirk and I, so I am looking for a good race tomorrow."

Dirk Muller, Driver: "I'm really happy to be here. I always like the challenge of new race tracks and to be on one of the most fantastic ones is really great. Obviously, the team gave me the right environment to feel at home immediately and gave me the right instructions to really work together with Peter in the right direction. I did nearly a 100% lap in qualifying but for the first time being here I am very happy for myself and the team. There is still the pole position waiting for me. I am very happy to have Peter as a teammate and we're working very well together. With that, the whole package is there for a great day tomorrow. I think this is definitely the hottest race weekend of the year for me, including the FIA GT, but I think we will be OK. Thanks to the team for the great car."

-credit: www.PetersenMotorsports.com

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Dirk Müller , Peter Dumbreck , Michael Petersen
Teams HART