Sebring: Corsa/WLR final test notes

Corsa Motorsports/White Lightning Racing Tops GT2 Test Day Field SEBRING, Fla., March 13, 2007 -- Yesterday Corsa Motorsports/White Lightning Racing debuted its new No. 32 EquiWest/Michelin Ferrari F430 GT at Sebring International Raceway....

Corsa Motorsports/White Lightning Racing Tops GT2 Test Day Field

SEBRING, Fla., March 13, 2007 -- Yesterday Corsa Motorsports/White Lightning Racing debuted its new No. 32 EquiWest/Michelin Ferrari F430 GT at Sebring International Raceway. Today, the Steve Pruitt-owned team set the fastest time in GT2 testing for the 55th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. Rui Aguas (Porto, Portugal) lapped the 3.7- mile circuit in two minutes, 3.227 seconds, four tenths quicker than his time on Monday. His co-drivers, Jose Maria Lopez (Cordoba, Argentina) and Maurizio Mediani (Reggio Emilia, Italy) also each turned laps in a trouble-free one-and-half hour test session.

Making the lap time even more impressive is that the Ferrari F430 GT that the Dale White-managed team rolled out this morning had only been driven once prior to yesterday's first session. The sleek Ferrari Rosso Scuderia red F430 GT, which carries the familiar white lightning bolts down its sides, was quick in each of the two, two hour sessions it ran in on Monday. And not only was it quick in Aguas' hands but also with his teammates. Lopez, who had never driven the F430 GT or seen Sebring prior to his first laps in the car yesterday, was second quick in the first session with a lap of 2:02.746. Mediani was right on his teammates' heels with all three drivers split by an eye blink.

The No. 31 MMPIE/PAWS/Petersen Holdings/Michelin Ferrari F430 GT of Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing- the sister car to the Corsa program- has also been on pace. In the three sessions held since "promoters" testing began in Monday, the Michael Petersen-owned Ferrari turned a quick time of 2:02.778 with Tomas Enge (Czech Republic) behind the wheel. Enge is sharing the two-time American Le Mans Series GT2 Driver and IMSA Cup Championship- winning entry with Timer Bergmeister (Langenfeld, Germany) and Memo Gidley (Novato, Calif). In each of yesterday's session, the two cars ran second and third quickest.

Both the No. 31 and No. 32 will have their first official practices on the 2007 American Le Mans Series season on Wednesday.

Quotes:

Steve Pruitt, Owner: "Mentally it is a very interesting challenge. We are still trying to learn how to work this ballet out. We are working to get the communication sorted out simply because of the different languages; the German, the Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and English. We have all of that involved here. We think the Ferrari is the quickest car out there and, at this point in time, we have the quickest of the five Ferraris. We're excited to see if we can keep it there and keep out of trouble. I wasn't expecting this. I was expecting to be at home watching Sebring on the satellite. You kind of have to pinch yourself that we are here. To be here and where we are at is still a little bit foggy yet."

Dale White, Entrant/Team Manager: "We have had two really fast race cars this week. It is gratifying to pick up exactly where we were the last few years with a brand new car. The drivers on the 32 have been really impressive. They have stepped right in and really gotten up to speed fast. There is still a lot of the week to go, we haven't even had the first official practice yet. But, we are really happy with where we ended the day with the Corsa Motorsports Ferrari and we're really pleased to have Steve Pruitt as part of the team."

Rui Aguas, Driver: "I am very happy to be here. It is going very well. Everything is very new for me and for my teammates. The track is new but the car I drove last year which is one of the good points. Everything is coming together now; we are working well together with the team. It is not so easy for them because they are used to one car and now they have two cars so they have to adapt. So far the feeling is good. I like the track. It is fast but just a little bit bumpy but so far so good. We are still not 100% but we are getting there. I never work for qualifying."

-credit: cm/wlr

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Series ALMS
Drivers Tomas Enge , Memo Gidley , Michael Petersen , Jose Maria Lopez , Rui Aguas , Steve Pruitt