Petersen/ White Lightning Rolls into France For Le Mans LE MANS, France, June 7, 2004 -- 60 years ago, Allied troops stormed the beaches at Normandy in the culmination of a year's planning and preparation to liberate France. While Petersen ...
Petersen/ White Lightning Rolls into France For Le Mans
LE MANS, France, June 7, 2004 -- 60 years ago, Allied troops stormed the beaches at Normandy in the culmination of a year's planning and preparation to liberate France. While Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing's return to Europe for this week's 24 Heures Du Mans does not pretend to foreshadow a turning point in world affairs, it does bring to fruition the Las Vegas-based race team's strategy. With a LM GT class victory earned in cooperation with Alex Job Racing under their belt, team owner Mike Petersen and team manager/ entrant Dale White began assembling the ingredients to bring their own, full program to the Le Mans while standing in victory lane celebrating the 2003 victory. The year of planning began to pay-off in April as the No. 90 Westward Ho Casino/ MMPIE/ PAWS/ mail2web.com Porsche 911 GT3 RSR driven by Jorg Bergmeister (Langenfield, Germany), Patrick Long (Oak Park, Calif.) and Sascha Maassen (Raeren, Belgium) obliterated the old track record (set the previous year by the Petersen-owned Porsche) in pre-qualifying for the 72nd Annual race around the clock.
Petersen/ White Lightning now returns to 8.6-mile Circuit Des 24 Heures Du Mans as one of the favorites to win the pole position and the June 12-13th race. To prepare for the grueling 24 hour event, Petersen/ White Lightning-- who finished third in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) season-opening Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in March-- put the 2004 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR under a rigorous rebuild in the month between testing and Wednesday's first day of on-track practice. The beautifully prepared Petersen Porsche was sent to the Porsche race factory in Weissach, Germany where every component was removed, checked and then replaced with a new component by the Petersen/ White Lightning crew.
The No. 90 underwent a thorough technical inspection in the center of the city of Le Mans this afternoon. With the successful completion of Automobile Club De l'Ouest (ACO) scrutineering, the car received its final inspection sticker and permission to begin practice and qualifying.
Mike Petersen, team owner/ driver: "We're all excited about being here the second time at Le Mans. It was very important for me to try and duplicate our awesome finish here with our team. It's been several years planning for this and to attempt to win Le Mans with my own team has been a goal of mine since I was a little boy. We've added some good new people to the team. We have a very good organizational gentleman by the name of Stephan [Pfeiffer, crew chief] and we have a lot of the same guys returning. I feel this is one of the strongest racing teams in the series in America and worldwide. I think we have the right combination to compete at any level at any venue in the world. And I know everyone is just as excited as I am with the way things are going. We can't wait until Saturday to start."