Mosport: Petersen/White Lightning preview

Petersen/ White Lightning Starts Final Four Race Swing at Mosport BOWMANVILLE, Ont., Can., Aug. 4, 2004 -- Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing's third podium finish at the most recent of the five race-old American Le Mans...

Petersen/ White Lightning Starts Final Four Race Swing at Mosport

BOWMANVILLE, Ont., Can., Aug. 4, 2004 -- Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing's third podium finish at the most recent of the five race-old American Le Mans Series (ALMS) GT season has positioned the team well for the remainder of the year. Now, the No. 31 Westward Ho Casino/ MMPIE/ PAWS/ Michelin Porsche 911 GT3 RSR moves north to Mosport International Raceway to launch its final assault for the IMSA Cup- a season-long award given to the highest finishing privateer team in each ALMS class. With four races and 89 available points remaining before the awards banquet in October, the Michael Petersen-owned team has pulled-out all the stops for Sunday's Toronto Grand Prix of Mosport. Petersen/ White Lightning currently sits second in the IMSA Cup and needs to erase a 27 point deficit to take the title. Since the season-opening Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the Las Vegas-based team has led races and has only once fallen outside the top-five in class but, despite winning GT at the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans, has not taken victory in the ALMS this season. With the end of the season playing to the team's strengths as endurance racing experts, drivers David Murry (Cumming, Ga.) and Craig Stanton (Long Beach, Calif.) are looking at the best possible closing segment they could ask for.

The fast Mosport circuit plays well for the driving talents of Murry and Stanton, who have each raced to previous top-tens in GT class Porsches at the historic, 2.459-mile, 10-turn facility. Mosport's long front-straightaway and sweeping turns will also play host to the return of the ALMS' 'enhanced' qualifying format. The single-car qualifying format saw Stanton take the team's highest qualifying position of the year (third) in its first showing at Infineon Raceway. The team feels the format further strengthens its opportunity to show well as both Murry and Stanton have each shown the ability to get the most out of the Westward Ho Casino car quickly.

Two 'sprint' races remain, including Sunday's two hour and 45-minute event in Bowmanville, before the longer, higher points-paying endurance races of Petit Le Mans and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca close the season. The team has enjoyed much success at both tracks including a third at Mazda Raceway in '03 and second at the Petit Le Mans in '02.

The Toronto Grand Prix of Mosport can be seen on CBS at 1 pm (EDT). Live timing and scoring can be viewed at www.americanlemans.com

quotes...

Michael Petersen, owner/driver: "The team as a whole is really starting to gel right now. The season is getting closer to the end and the competition is getting very tough. We had some misfortunes in the last couple of races with some weak accusations of taking people out which is so untrue! It really is sad when the changing of the guard happens and people really blame it on others. It has been a while since our last visit to Mosport but we are ready. We need to just keep doing what we have been and with some luck, which we have not had a lot of this year, and the skill of the team we are looking for the first victory of the year. We are all very hungry for it! The race should be very exciting like the last few and I am looking forward to getting up and under way!"

Dale White, team manager: "I am glad to be a part of some great competition in GT. We have had some good racing lately. Hopefully the championship comes down to the last race and we're a part of it. The logistic challenges are getting less and less as the season goes on. We have a week between Mosport and Road America and nice long breaks before Petit and Laguna. The hectic schedule since Sebring makes the next four races easy for me. I have been in Las Vegas for a few days and it will be nice to go north for some cooler weather."

David Murry, driver

(about Mosport): "Mosport is, in my opinion, the most challenging track anywhere. It has the most high speed blind turns with very little runoff of any track I know it also has slow speed corners so it makes car setup very challenging as well. I can't wait."

Craig Stanton, driver

(about the single car format for qualifying): "I'm very excited about IMSA going to the qualifying format we used in Sonoma. I am very use to it. David is very use to it. We both come from a stock car environment and it lends itself to our style. It seems to be more challenging with setup and philosophy. You don't just go out there and thunder around. It's two timed laps and that's it. That intrigues me. The biggest trick is getting the pressures up in the Michelins tires at the exact time you're on your hot lap. Once you've done that, you get to drive the race car with no worries about anything or anybody else. To me it's your chance to put up your best lap. Mosport is a great track; it's a Porsche track for sure. You have to have your wits about you. As a team, we are really carrying a lot of momentum right now. Every member of Petersen/ White Lightning has brought their game up and I am really proud of everybody."

For more, please visit www.petersenmotorsports.com.

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Series ALMS
Drivers David Murry , Craig Stanton , Michael Petersen