Petersen Motorsports / White Lightning Switches To Ferrari
And the news just keeps on coming. This time it’s another switch of chassis (marque) for the ALMS, with the news that Michael Petersen and Dale White at Petersen Motorsports / White Lightning Racing have decided to switch from Porsche to Ferrari for 2007.

The program will see the highest level of factory support the Nevada-based organization has enjoyed in its sports car racing career – but the team’s release points out that ‘the partnership with Ferrari Corse Clienti stops short of a full-factory effort, allowing the No. 31 to pursue a third consecutive IMSA Cup championship for privateer entrants’.

The Ferrari F430 GT’s race debut will be at the 12 Hours of Sebring in March, the team expecting to take delivery of the new car in mid-February. No drivers have been announced at this point.

In explaining the switch of manufacturers, Dale White comments that “we were informed mid-way through last season that our drivers would be moved to other teams next year. That left us in a difficult spot but with an easy choice once Ferrari laid out their ideas of a working relationship. They outlined what Mike and I have been looking for and the decision was made. It’s what is right for the team. On a personal note, one of the hardest parts of this is breaking longtime, professional ties with some good friends within Porsche Motorsports. Jörg Bergmeister, Patrick Long and many of the engineers have become like family to everyone on this team. Those friendships made the decision more emotional but, at the end of the day, we know it will be the right choice.”

“We are very excited about the new chapter that is beginning at Petersen Motorsports / White Lightning Racing for the 2007 season and beyond,” says Michael Petersen. “To race a Ferrari has been a dream of mine ever since my father brought home his first Ferrari when I was very small. We’ve had great success with Porsche in the past and have made many good friends there and we wish them all the best. But, as things change, as they so often do, we were presented with an opportunity of a new partnership with Ferrari that we could not pass up.”

So after a long sequence of success with Porsche, it’s a Ferrari for the 2006 ALMS Champions next year. Risi Competizione will be running two of the Ferraris again, and part of the appeal of the GT2 class will be observing how Porsche’s new 997 performs against what was the fastest car in 2006, the Ferrari 430.

The #31 car will be shaken down at Fiorano in February, then test over several days in March, at Sebring, before its race debut in the 12 Hours. The No.31 car will race on Michelin rubber.

 

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