Petersen/ White Lightning Sets New Unofficial GT2 Track Record in Le Mans Testing LE MANS, France, June 5, 2005 -- Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing driver Timo Bernhard (Dittweiler, Germany) set a new unofficial GT2 class track...
Petersen/ White Lightning Sets New Unofficial GT2 Track Record in Le Mans Testing
LE MANS, France, June 5, 2005 -- Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing driver Timo Bernhard (Dittweiler, Germany) set a new unofficial GT2 class track record in morning testing in preparation for the June 18-19th 24 Heures Du Mans. Bernhard lapped the 8.6-mile, 11-turn Circuit Des 24 Heures nearly one second faster than the previous unofficial track record with a time of four minutes, 4.915 seconds. The previous unofficial track record, set at the 2004 Le Mans Test Day by Jorg Bergmeister driving the No. 90 Westward Ho Casino/ MMPIE/ PAWS/ Michelin Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, was 4:05.975. Bernhard's lap was one of three that bettered both the official and unofficial track records. Patrick Long (Las Vegas, Nev.) was first in the Petersen/ White Lightning Porsche at the drop of the green flag this morning at 9 am (local time). The young American was immediately quick flirting with the 2004 pole position time with a lap of 4:07.751 on his first at-speed, timed lap. Owner/ driver Michael Petersen (Las Vegas) drove "clean-up" in the four hour session. Petersen set his own competitive laps before the team manager Dale White (Las Vegas) called his longtime partner in one hour from the completion of the session. The team now is making final adjustments prior to the 2 pm start of the second, five hour session.
Today's record continued the Las Vegas-based team's success at Le Mans in the GT2 (formerly GT) class. The Petersen/ White Lightning team holds both the official and unofficial GT2 track records as well having earned the class pole positions and race victories the last two seasons. The 2004 GT2 pole position time, earned in the No. 90 by Sascha Maassen with a time of 4:07.394. The 2003 success came in cooperation with Alex Job Racing.
Michael Petersen, team owner/ driver: "It is a great feeling to be back for the race now that all of the official activities have been started. The team worked very hard on the setup and preparation of the car which is clearly evident by the consistent times that the drivers are able to turn. We're looking forward to this afternoon's practice to work on tire wear and setup to make the car even better and faster for the race. The guys let me have quite a few laps this morning and I am looking forward to getting back in the afternoon and maybe even doing a complete stint. It sure is cool to go that fast, that many times on a track."
Dale White, team manager: "We're very pleased with that. All the drivers did a very good job and we have a lot of useful feedback after this morning's session. To be honest, we were even a little surprised with how fast the car was and, more so, how quickly it was that fast. We didn't expect the really quick times to come until this afternoon. Now, with the track clean after four hours of running, we will start focusing entirely on the race."