GT2 Drivers Announced For Petit Le Mans
The driver line-ups are now just about complete for Petit Le Mans next week, with a number of GT places now confirmed.

The latest news in the sequence is that Patrick long will drive the Petersen / White Lightning Porsche, with regular partner Jorg Bergmeister and Nic Jonsson. No drive for Tim Bergmeister in the end, in #31, while Long gives up his drive in the Porsche RS Spyder..

Pat Long: “I sat down with the folks from Porsche and looked at this objectively. It is a great opportunity to drive the RS Spyder, but Petersen / White Lightning has played a very important role in my career. I felt like leaving the team in a restructuring process right as the championship comes down to the wire would be counterproductive. Jörg and I work so well together as teammates. I look forward to continuing that good work to help him defend our 2005 driving title. In the end, I felt it was the right decision to make. Mike and Dale gave me a chance back in ‘04 that led to my first major sports car win at Le Mans. This is the least I could do for them.”

“When you see this sort of move by a young driver, it’s inspiring to a team,” commented Dale White. “I think that shows what we have created here. Patrick passed on a ride that could, potentially, win him the race overall, to look at the bigger picture. He stepped-up and thought about what is best for all involved. Everyone at Petersen/White Lightning wants to show their appreciation by winning this race. Everybody involved had to make hard choices to make this happen but this gives us the momentum to pursue a second title.”

Meanwhile, one of the #31’s big rivals, the lead Flying Lizards Porsche, will have Marc Lieb joining Johannes van Overbeek and Wolf Henzler. Lieb drove for the team at Mosport, where he led the opening stint.

At Multimatic Motorsports Team Panoz, Sebastien Bourdais and Andy Lally join the regular line-ups, the Frenchman pitching in with Scott Maxwell and David Brabham.

"Sebring was a great result for me with Multimatic and Panoz and I am definitely looking forward to Petit Le Mans – if we can match what we did a Sebring it would be a brilliant result," said Bourdais. "I'm hopeful I can clinch the Champ Car title at Road America this week – that would be a perfect way to head to Petit Le Mans to get back in the Panoz.”

Local man Andy Lally, a 2006 champion already, in Grand Am GTs, is also eagerly awaiting the race: "I live only 15 miles from Road Atlanta so it is great to be able to do this race. I've been friends with Gunnar and Tom for quite some time but we've never been teammates before. I'm looking forward to it. This is certainly one of my favorite races of the year, the crowds have been great and it is my new home track since moving down here from New York at the end of 2003.”

And now we can add that Marino Franchitti is over the Atlantic Ocean on his way to a Risi Competizione test at Atlanta tomorrow, and he'll partner Lazzaro and Mediani in one Ferrari 430, while Markus Palttala has left Spain, also headed west, and will test the other Risi 430, logically to race it with Stephane Ortelli and TBA.

 

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