Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing Signs Muller to Join Enge Full-Time Houston Penalty Clarification PAHRUMP, Nev., April 23, 2007 - Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing announced today that it has signed Dirk Muller (a native...
Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing Signs Muller to Join Enge Full-Time
Houston Penalty Clarification
PAHRUMP, Nev., April 23, 2007 - Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing announced today that it has signed Dirk Muller (a native of Germany, living in Monaco) to race the No. 31 MMPIE/PAWS/Petersen Holdings/Michelin Ferrari F430 GT for the remainder of the 2007 American Le Mans Series season. The ultra-fast German joined the Michael Petersen (Las Vegas, Nev.) owned team two weeks ago at the Grand Prix of Long Beach. In the two races since, Muller has set fastest GT2 race lap in each and earned two top-four qualifying positions (fourth at Long Beach and second at the Lone Star Grand Prix of Houston). The team has finished sixth and fourth at the two events respectively. Muller was originally hired as the short-term replacement for regular team driver Tomas Enge (a native of the Czech Republic living in Monaco), who was injured while leading the class at St. Petersburg, Fla. However, Muller's performance in the car and ease with the team has led to a full season contract pairing him with Enge upon the Czech's return.
Muller has three conflicts during the remaining eight races of the 12 event American Le Mans Series season. Prior commitments in the FIA GT Series, where he won the season-opener in a Ferrari F430 GT, will keep the 2000 American Le Mans Series GT2 (then known as GT) class champion away from the races at Miller Motorsports Park (May 19), Lime Rock Park (July 7) and the October 20th season-finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Enge is expected to return to the two-time American Le Mans Series Championship-winning program at Lime Rock. Therefore, the two, which together have set three of the four fastest race laps set in the class this season (Enge added the honor at St. Petersburg prior to the accident), will share the No. 31 Ferrari for the first time at the Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio on July 22.
The driver lineup for Miller Motorsports Park, where neither driver is scheduled to compete, will be announced as those decisions are made final in the coming weeks.
Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing Sporting Relations Manager Tom Moore (Franklin, TN) also announced a clarification to a statement made in the post-race news release following the Lone Star Grand Prix of Houston. Despite the release's suggestion, a penalty for the violation of article 5.7 of the IMSA Code, "Unjustifiable Risk and Reckless Endangerment" was not rescinded by IMSA race officials and stands as ruled during the event. Muller served the stop-and-go penalty with approximately two minutes remaining in the two hour and 45-minute race dropping him from third to fourth in the final standings.
Muller, team manager/entrant Dale White (Bozeman, MT) and IMSA Race Director Martin Kaufman (Parrish, Fla.) met to discuss the penalty following the event. However, the penalty stood as the correct choice by IMSA officials and no change in the penalty or its punishment took place as previously stated. Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing would like to apologize for any misunderstanding or inconvenience that this inaccuracy in stating the outcome of that meeting might have caused and takes full responsibility for the confusion.