Laguna Seca: Petersen/White Lightning Racing race report

No. 31 Suffers Two Consecutive DNFs for Only Second Time in Team History MONTEREY, Calif. October 20, 2007 - For only the second time in its career, Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing has been forced to retire from two consecutive ...

No. 31 Suffers Two Consecutive DNFs for Only Second Time in Team History

MONTEREY, Calif. October 20, 2007 - For only the second time in its career, Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing has been forced to retire from two consecutive professional sports car events. 45 minutes into today's four hour Monterey Sports Car Championships, Peter Dumbreck (born in Scotland but living in Adderbury, England) slowed dramatically and reported a loss of all drive to the wheels as he entered the front straightaway at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Once back to the paddock, the Michael Petersen (Las Vegas/Southern Calif.) owned team immediately ascertained that a broken left-side, transmission flange - a transmission piece that links the differential to the driveshaft which drives the rear wheels- ended the team's day. It was the first time since 2003 that the two-time American Le Mans Series GT2 Driver and IMSA Cup Championship winning team has failed to record a top-10 finish in the Series. The No. 31 MMPIE/PAWS/Petersen Holdings/Michelin Ferrari F430 GT was forced to accept 12th in the GT2 class race standings after running third at the time of the flange failure.

Entering the last turn of the 2.238-mile, 11-turn circuit, Dumbreck found no power when he went to up-shift. The Scot was able to coast to turn-five on the hilly circuit before he was forced to pull the car off course. Unable to return to pit lane under its own power, IMSA rules dictate that the entry is retired from competition. However, the type of failure that had occurred would not have been repairable in pit lane and, therefore, would have forced the retirement of the No. 31 regardless. Team Manager/Entrant Dale White (Bozeman, MT) turned in the official paperwork retiring the car at 4:45 PM local time. The previous instance where the Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing team had two consecutive DNFs was in 2002 when an accident dropped them from the lead at Mid- Ohio. A disqualification for cutting through pit lane at the following race at Road America gave them another DNF.

Lucas Luhr (born in Koblenz, Germany but now living in Ermatingen, Switzerland) was scheduled to share the No. 31 Ferrari with Dumbreck but never raced the car in today's event. The Dennis Chizma (Las Vegas, Nev.) lead team was to perform its first pit stop within ten laps of the lap 32 failure. Dumbreck had qualified second for today's race.

The Monterey Sports Car Championship brings to a close the 2007 American Le Mans Series season. During the 12-races run, the Nevada-based team captured one victory (Salt Lake City), one additional podium (a third at Detroit), two more top-fives (fourth- place finishes at Road America and Mosport), three pole positions (St. Petersburg, Salt Lake and Lime Rock) and six fastest race laps (St. Pete, Long Beach, Houston, Salt Lake, Lime Rock and Road America). They enjoy 10 American Le Mans Series victories in 69 starts and 88 top-10 finishes in 103 sports car racing starts dating back to 1998. They have won their class twice at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (2003, 2004), two Petit Le Mans GT2 titles (2005, 2006), a 12 Hours of Sebring GT2 win (2005), four Road America 500 class top-finishes, a Monterey Sports Car Championships' victory (2005) and a 24 Hours At Daytona class title, second overall (2001), since making the transition from their dominating off-road program to sports car racing in the late '90s.

Quotes Michael Petersen, Owner: "It's an unfortunate way to have such a troublesome year end but it has been pretty much that way all year for us. With all the different drivers and diversities we've had it is a shame to have it all end less than an hour into the last race. On a positive note, it definitely leaves everyone hungry to get to the start of next year. It is going to make the winter break a long one for everybody but we'll lick our wounds and return with, hopefully better luck, and pursue another championship with Ferrari."

Dale White, Team Manager/Entrant: "This was an uncharacteristic way to end an uncharacteristic season. Having a season like this is disappointing but seeing everyone working together and the effort every single person on this team has put in makes me very proud."

Peter Dumbreck, Driver: "For the first few laps under green I felt that I could run the pace with the other leaders. I made a mistake and ran wide in one of the corners and they seemed to pull away a little bit and I had a lot of attention from the car behind me but I was confident about the rest of the race. Under yellow I went for a gear change going into the last corner and nothing happened. I had a box of neutrals and I knew straight-away that I had a big problem and it was enough to put us out of the race. Once I realized it wasn't going in gear I was past the pit entrance. But, it wouldn't have mattered it would have just meant I wouldn't have had to walk so far to get back."

Credit: pwlr

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Series ALMS
Drivers Lucas Luhr , Peter Dumbreck , Michael Petersen