WHITE LIGHTNING/PETERSEN PORSCHE 911 GT3 RSR COMPLETES ENDURANCE RACING TRIPLE CROWN WITH FIRST SEBRING 12-HOUR GT-2 VICTORY SEBRING, Florida - March 19 - The Las Vegas-based White Lightning/Petersen Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, driven by Jorg ...
WHITE LIGHTNING/PETERSEN PORSCHE 911 GT3 RSR COMPLETES ENDURANCE RACING TRIPLE CROWN WITH FIRST SEBRING 12-HOUR GT-2 VICTORY
SEBRING, Florida - March 19 - The Las Vegas-based White Lightning/Petersen Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, driven by Jorg Bergmeister, from Langenfeld, Germany/Patrick Long, from Las Vegas, NV/Lucas Luhr, from Monte Carlo, Monaco, have won the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring by seven laps, carving a place in sports car history by winning the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and now Sebring, America's oldest sports car race.
In fact, Long and Bergmeister were with White Lightning/Petersen last June at Le Mans when the team won the GT class - in the very same Porsche. In 2003, the team paired with Alex Job Racing to win Le Mans with Luhr, Maassen and Emmanual Collard. And, in 2001, Lucas Luhr/Randy Pobst/Mike Fitzgerald/Christian Menzel gave White Lightning its victory at the Rolex 24 in a Porsche 911 GT3 RS.
Second at Sebring was the Atlanta-based J3 Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Justin Jackson, Buford, GA/Tim Sudgen, Leeds, England/Nic Jonsson, Atlanta, GA. It was the team's highest American Le Mans Series finish ever. Third was the Sonoma, CA-based Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Jon Fogarty, Petaluma, CA/Johannes van Overbeek, San Francisco, CA/Darren Law, Phoenix, AZ, which overcame an early spin and late-race brake problems to earn their podium finish.
The grueling 12-hour event took its toll on the GT2 field, as only seven of the 17 class starters finished the race, with Porsche teams taking the top six positions. In the overall standings, only 18 of the 38 starters were running at the end.
The #66 TRG Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Tracy Krohn, Houston, TX/Marc Sluszny, Antwerp, Belgium/Michael Cawley, Atlanta, GA came from the rear of the pack to finish fourth, with the In2Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Juan Barazi, Gstaad, Switzerland/Michael Vergers, Oxford, England/Andrew Thompson, Switzerland fifth.
Among the many cars not finishing due to mechanical problems included both Alex Job Racing Porsches, the BAM! Porsche, the #44 Flying Lizards Porsche, and the #67 TRG Porsche.
PORSCHE SEBRING FACTS (AT THE COMPLETION OF THE 2005 EVENT)
Porsche 911 Wins at Sebring: 77 Overall and Class Victories
GT Class Wins: 25 (since 1979)
At least one Porsche has competed at Sebring every year since 1953 - 53 straight races. No other manufacturer is close to that record.
WHITE LIGHTNING PETERSEN MOTORSPORTS FACTS (After Sebring):
--White Lightning/Petersen Motorsports has now completed sports car endurance racing's coveted triple crown, winning at the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona (2001); Le Mans (2003 with a joint entry with Alex Job Racing and 2004 outright), and 2005 Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
--Patrick Long was on the team in Le Mans in 2004 as well as this weekend at Sebring as was Jorg Bergmeister. Lucas Luhr was a member of the winning Daytona team, as well as Le Mans 2003 and this weekend.
--The team has only one other ALMS win (Road America 2003), but has more than 50 wins and 80 podiums in off-road racing.
--Lucas Luhr has now won the GT/GT2 class at Sebring five times in the last six years (2000 - 2003, 2005 - and he was second last year).
PORSCHE AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES STATISTICS
(1999 - Sebring 2005)
Porsche Class Victories: 49
Audi - 41
Corvette - 31
Porsche GTS Wins: 2
Porsche GT Wins: 47
Porsche 911 GT3 R/RS/RSR wins: 42
Porsche Class Poles: 49
Audi - 35
Corvette - 25
Longest Class Winning Streak:
21 Porsche GT class wins in a row: 2002 - 2004 (started with 2002 12 Hours of Sebring - ended by Ferrari at Lime Rock 2004)