Petersen/ White Lightning Enters Porsche's Strongest Le Mans Driver Line-Up LE MANS, France, April 23, 2004 -- Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing announced today that three of Porsche's most successful and skilled drivers will pilot...
Petersen/ White Lightning Enters Porsche's Strongest Le Mans Driver Line-Up
LE MANS, France, April 23, 2004 -- Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing announced today that three of Porsche's most successful and skilled drivers will pilot the No. 90 Westward Ho Casino/ MMPIE/ PAWS/ Mail2Web.com/ Michelin Porsche 911 GT3 RSR at the 72nd Annual 24 Heures Du Mans. The June 12-13 event will feature Porsche factory drivers Jorg Bergmeister (Langenfield, Germany), Patrick Long, (Oak Park, Calif.) and Sascha Maassen (Raeren, Belgium) behind the wheel of the familiar lightning bolt-festooned Porsche. The Michael Petersen-owned and Dale White-managed race team joined with American Le Mans Series (ALMS) rival Alex Job Racing (AJR) to win the LM GT class here last season but returns in 2004 with its own effort. The team and drivers will get their first combined taste of Le Mans Sunday, April 26, at the 24 Hours' "Test Day". They will then return in June to pursue Porsche's 18th Le Mans manufacturer's title.
Maassen, the veteran leader of the driving squad, won the LM GT class at Le Mans in 2003 with the Petersen-owned Porsche. A native of Germany, Maassen has won the last two ALMS GT championships and holds the record for most ALMS wins by a driver in any class of the series. Bergmeister, who will be contesting his third 24 Heures Du Mans in 2004, has four ALMS wins in his career. The two German factory pilots will be joined at Le Mans by Porsche's new prodigy, American Patrick Long. Long will be making his debut here at La Sarthe in Sunday's test day. The trio has been handpicked to be the perfect blend of experience, speed and consistency for the team's all-out assault on Le Mans.
While the No. 90 Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing 911 RSR was shaken-down prior to the 12 Hours of Sebring, the 2004 Porsche will be driven with the intent to race for the first time Sunday. Owner and driver Michael Petersen (Las Vegas, Nev.) will sub for Maassen who is at the Porsche Rennsport Reunion II in Daytona this weekend. Petersen, Bergmeister and Long will trade driving duties in Sunday's two, four hour practice sessions.
Mike Petersen, car owner: "I'm excited to be back at Le Mans with our team. Our driver lineup is a very powerful one. We are very excited to bring Sascha, Jorg and Patrick into the Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing family. We've got all the same sponsors from last year and we are hoping, with that in mind, the good luck will continue. We're ready to set the standard on Sunday and, with some good luck and the talent of all the guys, we can get a good result in the race as well."
Jorg Bergmeister: "This is the best thing that can happen for me to be with the winning team from last year. So I will do my best and it will be nice to do it [win] again. This is my first time with the Petersen/ White Lightning team but I know all of the guys from the ALMS so I think it should be good fun for me. And, it will be interesting to race against my ALMS teammate."
Patrick Long: "I didn't expect to be at Le Mans and to be invited to be with the most potent driver and team combination is quite an honor. I look at my first opportunity at Le Mans as a very solid chance to win. I can't tell you in words what that would mean."
Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing began operation as an off-road team in the 1980s winning over 50 truck victories, including three-consecutive overall wins at the Baja 1000, and multiple championships. Since beginning sports car racing, the effort has scored victories in the ALMS, the Trans-Am Series, Speed Challenge Series and endurance sports car wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Alex Job Racing, Watkins Glen and at the Rolex 24 of Daytona.
For more, please visit www.petersenmotorsports.com.