Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing On ALMS GT2 Front Row for Sixth Time in Seven Races Enge and Muller to Start Second at Mid-Ohio, Just 0.417 Seconds Off GT2 Pole Time LEXINGTON, Ohio, July 20, 2007 - Petersen Motorsports/White ...
Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing On ALMS GT2 Front Row for
Sixth Time in Seven Races
Enge and Muller to Start Second at Mid-Ohio, Just 0.417 Seconds Off GT2 Pole Time
LEXINGTON, Ohio, July 20, 2007 - Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing will start second in GT2 class in tomorrow's Sports Car Challenge at the Mid-Ohio. The start will mark the sixth time in seven American Le Mans Series races this season that the No. 31 MMPIE/PAWS/Petersen Holdings/Michelin Ferrari F430 GT will take the green flag on the GT2 class front row. Tomas Enge (a native of the Czech Republic now living in Monaco) lapped the 2.25-mile, 13-turn, natural terrain Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in one minute, 20.368 seconds falling just 0.417 seconds off the pole-sitting Ferrari F430 GT in the 20 minute qualifying session this afternoon. Dirk Muller (a German now living in Monaco), making his return to the Michael Petersen (Las Vegas, Nev.) owned team after a two race absence, will share the Ferrari with Enge on Saturday. Muller was quickly up to speed turning times at the same pace as Enge in practice.
This season the Dale White (Bozeman, MT) managed organization, which starts 18th overall in the race, has charged to the class pole position three times, has been second quickest three times and has never started outside the top-four. Enge will start the event before turning the wheel of the No. 31 Ferrari over to Muller at the midpoint of the two hour and 45-minute race.
The Nevada-based program is confident in their chances in the race. Though the team has not yet won on the famous Lexington, Ohio course, the team has led all but two events this season. The No. 31 Ferrari has also proven devastatingly quick setting the fastest race lap in five of six events run to-date. Those quick times came at the hands of three different drivers - Enge twice, Muller twice and Darren Turner (Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, England) most recently at Lime Rock Park.
Michael Petersen, Team Owner: "We came here to get the pole but we narrowly missed it. Our real objective is to win the race. The Ferrari has been very fast this year but we have only gotten the results once. The challenges have brought the whole team closer and every member of this team is working as one to get back in the rhythm. We're looking at turning things around this weekend."
Dale White, Team Manager/Entrant: "Tomas and Dirk have been running so close that it was a difficult choice as to who would qualify the car. Tomas did a great job looking for the gaps between cars to get the best lap. He turned-in a terrific performance. He put everything he had into winning the pole, just like he does his best to win every session on-track. Dirk is the same way. We're really excited about having this combination in the car. Our number one goal in tomorrow's race is to make it to the finish and get back in winning form."
Tomas Enge, Driver: "Qualifying was very interesting and everyone produced a very good show for the spectators. The qualifying was very close; the gaps were very close with each driver. So that means tomorrow's race may be the closest one this year. I think the race is going to be all about not making any mistakes and having a clean race. It is key that you don't go offline here. There are so many marbles, more than other circuit, that if you move offline to be overtaken by a prototype it is very slippery. I think tire wear will be a big, big issue here. Whoever can make the tires last the longest might have a big chance to win the race."
Dirk Muller, Driver: "I am pretty much impressed about the way this tracks improved since '01. I very much like the technical parts that you really need to understand, especially the up-and-down corners and the crests are challenging. I am really looking forward for a fantastic race. I think for me the traffic will be the key for winning or losing the race. You have to be very smart and also a little bit lucky not to get involved in any incident because, especially with the crest, sometimes it is very hard to see the very quick approaching prototypes. You have to watch very closely the mirrors. I am very happy to be back in the Petersen/White Lightning Ferrari this weekend."
The Sports Car Challenge from Mid-Ohio will start at 3:15 pm (ET) tomorrow. Television coverage will be provided by CBS Sports, July 22 at 2 pm (ET). The event can be heard live on the American Le Mans Series Radio Web, available through the American Le Mans Series web site from 3-6 PM (ET).