Dumbreck to drive for Petersen Motorsports Invariably, the subject around Peter Dumbreck always turns to Mercedes and Le Mans. Dumbreck was a young Mercedes works pilot in 1999 and was running third overall in a Mercedes CLR and about to move past a Toyota GT1 into second place.
Sure enough, Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing’s newest driver talked about it again Thursday afternoon at Road America, where he will make his debut with the team, in the Ferrari F430 GT and the American Le Mans Series.
So often does it come up?
“It depends on when I turn up in a new place, like America. Then it’s a hot subject!” Dumbreck said, a former factory pilot for Mercedes and Opel and now competing for the works Toyota team in Japan Super GT. “I was thinking when it happened, ‘That’s a really beautiful sky. It was right before dusk. I wasn’t thinking I was going to die and my life didn’t flash before my eyes. But I knew what was happening.
“It’s kind of a cool thing when I look at it on video,” he added. “I’m thinking, ‘That was me in there and I walked out of that!’ And I didn’t have a scratch on me. I had sore elbows and sore knees but not a scratch on me.”
To the task at hand, Dumbreck was wide-eyed on his first laps at Road America and in the F430 GT, a winner five times already in 2007. But if a driver is making his debut, at what better track and in what better car can he choose?
“This circuit looks really good,” Dumbreck said after teammate Dirk Muller posted the fastest GT2 time in Thursday’s test session. “But at the moment I’m taking it so gently and trying to get my head around the car and around some of the corners. I’m maybe annoying some of the other drivers with the speed I was going but gradually step by step I’m moving forward. I just have to learn the car because it seems very easy to drive at 90 percent but to go to the 100 percent mark is that much more difficult. I don’t doubt myself but it will take just a little more time.”
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