PETERSEN MOTORSPORTS/ WHITE LIGHTNING RACING 12 HOURS OF SEBRING - FOUR HOUR REPORT SEBRING, Fla., March 18, 2006 - Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing currently runs third in the GT2 class at the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) season...
PETERSEN MOTORSPORTS/ WHITE LIGHTNING RACING 12 HOURS OF SEBRING - FOUR HOUR REPORT
SEBRING, Fla., March 18, 2006 - Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing currently runs third in the GT2 class at the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) season opening Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. The No. 31 MMPIE/ PAWS/ Michelin Porsche 911 GT3 RSR started fifth with 2005 ALMS Driver Champ Jörg Bergmeister. He ran there for much of the first hour of the race in nose-to-tail competition with second through sixth-place.
The first pit stop, at the race's one hour, ten minute mark, earned two more spots for the 2005 ALMS GT2 Team Champions. Now, with Tim Bergmeister behind the wheel, the Michael Petersen-owned Porsche challenged repeatedly for second with the older of the two Bergmeister brothers.
Nic Jönsson would step behind the wheel of the '05 Sebring winning Porsche at the race's two hour and 24 minute mark. The native Swede would make it into the lead after a third stop for fuel only by the Dale White-managed team under caution at 2:44 into the 12 hour event. The lead would be short-lived as the dauntingly fast Ferrari recaptured the position at the restart and the Panoz would take second several laps later.
The team remains confident in their strategy which is producing the expected results thus far. Fuel consumption and tire wear is exactly as the team anticipated. Also working as anticipated is the flow of the event. The quick pace is what team principals forecasted it would be. And, as the team planned for, they have kept the leaders in sight and challenged, at times, for the lead without over-stressing the car.
Mike Petersen, owner: "We're right where we want to be. The car is run very well and the drivers and the crew are giving it everything they have. It's still a long way to go but we're very happy with where we are right now."
Jörg Bergmeister, driver: "I think it is going Okay. We aren't as fast as the Ferrari or the Panoz but we are able to stay right there. It is still a long way to go for sure but, so far, we are happy with the Petersen/White Lightning car."