Sears Point: Petersen Motorsports race report

SONOMA, Calif., July 27, 2003 -- Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing gambled on a one-stop pit strategy in today's Grand Prix of Sonoma here at Infineon Raceway and ended the day with a fifth-place in GT class, 17th overall. Johnny...

SONOMA, Calif., July 27, 2003 -- Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing gambled on a one-stop pit strategy in today's Grand Prix of Sonoma here at Infineon Raceway and ended the day with a fifth-place in GT class, 17th overall. Johnny Mowlem, of Warfield, England, and Long Beach, California's Craig Stanton started the #31 Westward Ho Casino/ MMPIE/ PAWS/ XtraJet/ Justice Brothers Porsche 911 GT3 RS third in class and led before a caution flag in the second-half of the two hour and 45-minute American Le Mans Series (ALMS) race offset the advantage of the Michael Petersen-owned Porsche. Taking high percentage chances comes naturally to the Las Vegas-based operation and today's strategy of a single pit stop for fuel, Michelin tires and a driver change (Mowlem to Stanton), called by team manager Dale White and engineer Harry Haggard, would have given the Petersen Porsche a significant advantage had the race gone caution-free the second half of the event.

"Our strategy was to do the race on one pit stop," explained White. "It could have gone either way. If it'd stayed green we probably would have won. But, the last yellow gave everyone else the opportunity to pit and that hurt us."

Haggard offered the following comparison: "We played 'Battleship' and lost the battle."

"The day worked quite well," reflected Stanton after taking the checkered flag. "We tried some strategy that, if things had worked out with the yellow and the greens, we would have won. The Porsche ran just flawless all weekend. I want to thank Mike Petersen, Dale White and all the guys at Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing. They did an awesome job."

Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing will compete in the next United State's round of the ALMS at Road America on August 24.

Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing began operation in the late 1980s competing in off-road endurance events. The duo of White and Petersen joined to win over 50 off-road truck victories including three-consecutive overall wins at the Baja 1000 and Baja 500 and four SCORE, SNORE and SODA championships. Since introducing the team to sports car racing, the effort has scored victories in the Trans-Am Series, Speed Challenge Series and endurance sports car wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Watkins Glen and at the Rolex 24 of Daytona.

For more, please visit www.PetersenMotorsports.com.

-dhc-

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Johnny Mowlem , Craig Stanton , Michael Petersen