Road America: Petersen/White Lightning preview

Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing Looks to Make Turn at Road America Dumbreck - Muller Combine for First Time at Classic Wisconsin Track ELKHART LAKE, Wisc., August 3, 2007 - Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing has had a ...

Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing Looks to Make Turn at Road America

Dumbreck - Muller Combine for First Time at Classic Wisconsin Track

ELKHART LAKE, Wisc., August 3, 2007 - Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing has had a winning tradition at Road America since 1998. In the last four years, the Michael Petersen (Las Vegas, Nev.) owned team has been particularly strong taking three GT2 class wins in the American Le Mans Series. That tally includes walking away with top class honors in the last two meetings of the Generac 500 at Road America. Entering this year's August 11th race, the Dale White (Bozeman, MT) managed team hopes that around one of 14 turns of the 4.048-mile, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin facility is a green flag to the remainder of this season. To help make that fresh start the No. 31 MMPIE/PAWS/Petersen Holdings/Michelin Ferrari F430 GT will be shared for the first time by new-to-the Series Peter Dumbreck (born in Scotland but living in Adderbury, England) and 2000 GT2 (then GT) class Champion Dirk Muller (a native of Germany now living in Monaco).

The Nevada-based team has been the standard for the class in speed and team performance with an impeccable mechanical record, five straight fastest race laps and six front row starting spots leading into the eighth race of the season. However, with only a single victory (Salt Lake City in May) to show for all the effort, the team is hopeful that the natural terrain road course and the fresh driver lineup will mark the turn- around for its season. Road America has played the turning point before for the two-time American Le Mans Series GT2 Driver Championship-winning program. In 2003, the organization earned its first Series victory at Road America setting it on a course that now sees the group ranked second on the all- time list for most wins in GT/GT2 competition. The program returned to the top-spot on the podium in 2005 spurring a four-race win streak to close the season with a come-from-behind triad of GT2 Championships (Driver, Team and IMSA Cup). The 2006 victory was one of three race victories last season to help take the Driver and IMSA Cup titles. Even the "off" year of '04 provided a second-place finish as the highest placing privateer.

Helping to play into the hands of the two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans class winning team ('03, 04) is the increased race time for this year's Generac 500 at Road America. This year's event will move from its traditional two hour, 45-minute "sprint" race format to a true endurance challenge of four hours. In part due to its long and successful off-road truck racing background, Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing has become a top-contender in international endurance races (events of four hours of greater). In 25 career endurance sports car racing starts, the three-time Baja 1000 overall winners have taken eight victories and 12 podiums. Even more impressive is a record for running at the finish of 81%, compared to 77% in all formats of sports car races for the Ferrari team; an envious record even for full, manufacturer- supported programs.

Road America has an even deeper past for the Petersen-White combination. The track played host to their first road racing victory in 1998 when Stu Hayner drove a Michael Petersen-owned and White Lightning Racing-prepared Chevrolet Camaro to victory in the SCCA Trans-Am Series. 1998 was the debut of the program in pavement racing after over 50 off-road racing victories.


Dale White, Team Manager/Entrant: "Our goal at Road America, like every weekend, is to win. After that, we'd like to use Road America as the springboard to the remainder of the year; just like we did in '05. The crew has done a great job for us this season and the Ferrari has always been fast and reliable. We just need the right combination in the cockpit. The drivers need to be fast but we also need to have them in a position to win on the last lap."

Peter Dumbreck, Driver: "The biggest challenge will be sitting in the Ferrari for the first time. I have to try and get confidence on where its limits are without over stepping them. It also makes learning the circuit that much harder because if I was in a car I knew well, like the Super GT Lexus, then I could push straight away and get to grips with the track layout. Having a new teammate doesn't worry me. I know Dirk and I know he is fast. I just hope he is in the mood to help me become fast too."

Dirk Muller, Driver: "I am really looking forward to Road America. It should be a 100 percent weekend. We want to show what the team can do. The crew has worked so hard they deserve a great result. Personally I know Peter but we have never raced together. He is a very, very professional driver and I respect him highly. I think he will really suit the team. I have never had the chance to race at Road America. I have heard so many good things about it and I am always looking forward to learning new places. I am really hot to come over and race there. There is a big history there for the team, a lot of success for Petersen/White Lightning. I hope that we can step into victory lane again."

The Generac 500 at Road America will start at 5 pm (ET), 4 pm local time, on Saturday, August 11. Television coverage will be provided by NBC Sports, August 12 at 2:30 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 5-9 pm (ET).


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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Dirk Müller , Peter Dumbreck , Michael Petersen
Teams HART