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Dakar 2008: Petersen/White Lightning preparing for the Dakar.

Peter Dumbreck (born in Scotland but living in Adderbury, England), Lucas Luhr (born in Koblenz, Germany but now living in Ermatingen, Switzerland) and Dirk Müller (a native of Germany now living in Monaco) continue to lead the way in sports car racing all over the world. During the downtime between the American Le Mans Series podium finish at Detroit in the No. 31 MMPIE/PAWS/Petersen Holdings/Michelin Ferrari F430 GT and the next round at Road Atlanta on October 6, the three drivers are plying their trade in the Le Mans Series, Super GT, DTM and FIA GT Championship respectively.

In the past month all three have scored, or matched, their top finishes of the season in those series. Meanwhile, the Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing technicians and management have not been resting. The team had its first two tests of the off-road buggy to be used in the Euromilhões Dakar 2008 in January and have continued preparations for the final two rounds of the sports car season. All combined, the two-time, defending GT2 class Petit Le Mans champions are continuing to grow the momentum towards closing the year with victories at Petit Le Mans and the Monterey Sports Car Championships at Laguna Seca.

Dumbreck, a Toyota factory driver, earned a strong ninth-place finish in Japan's Super GT Series driving the factory-supported Lexus at the 300 Km Super GT event at Twin Ring Motegi on September 9th. He followed that this past weekend with a third driving the GT2 class Spyker C8 Spyder GT2R in the 1000 Km of Silverstone in the Le Mans Series. Dumbreck will not have a race the weekend leading into the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. He returns to Japan on October 13-14 for Round Eight of the Super GT Series before flying directly to Laguna Seca. Super GT closes its championship on November 3-4 at Fuji Speedway.

Luhr, an Audi works driver, ran to his highest finish of the German Touring Car (DTM) Championship on September 23. He drove his Audi Sport Team Rosberg Audi A4 DTM to an eighth-place finish at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. It was an eight-place jump from his starting position of 16th. Luhr will split his seventh Petit Le Mans and seventh Laguna Seca starts with the DTM season-finale at Hockenheim on October 14.

Müller strengthened his lead in the FIA GT Championship GT2 chase with a class victory in the AF Corse Ferrari F430 GT at the Adria Circuit in Italy on September 9. The victory clinched the GT2 Manufacturers' Championship for Ferrari. Müller, a Ferrari factory driver, followed that success with another win, his fifth of the season, at Brno in the Czech Republic. He travels to Nogaro, France this weekend with an eye towards clinching the GT2 championship before returning to the United States for his first Petit Le Mans since 2001.

Beyond preparing the No. 31 Ferrari F430 GT for the Petit Le Mans, owner Michael Petersen, team manager Dale White, Crew Chief Dennis Chizma (Las Vegas) and lead technician Nico Castellaccio have been testing the off-road/rally vehicle they will run in the Euromilhões Dakar 2008. The team has tested on two different occasions doing basic shakedown runs on the T1.3 class buggy in the Nevada desert. Several more tests are planned following the American Le Mans Series season finale at Laguna Seca on October 20. The buggy will be shipped to Europe in early December. The first stage of the 2008 edition of the world's most difficult motorsports event is scheduled to start in Lisbon, Portugal on January 5th. It will end 15 days later in Dakar, Senegal in Africa on January 20th.

2007/09/25 | 18:34 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Petersen/White Lightning

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