MOWLEM'S SUCCESSES COME IN VARIED RACING SERIES CHARVIL, England (Dec. 11, 2006) -- Sports car racer Johnny Mowlem personifies the adage that variety is the spice of life. His 2006 racing season was very spicy indeed. ...
MOWLEM'S SUCCESSES COME IN VARIED RACING SERIES
CHARVIL, England (Dec. 11, 2006) -- Sports car racer Johnny Mowlem personifies the adage that variety is the spice of life. His 2006 racing season was very spicy indeed.
Mowlem competed in six different racing series on two continents and in a multitude of differing classes. He crossed the Atlantic Ocean 42 times and zipped across the English Channel a dozen times or more. He instructed students at his racing academy and showed the value of his lessons by winning races himself.
"It was a tremendous season," Mowlem said. "The relationships I built this season are very important to me."
Mowlem made history when he co-drove the winning car for Risi Competizione in the GT2 class in the Grand Prix of Mosport in an American Le Mans Series event. It marked the first time Ferrari finished first and second in any class in an ALMS event. Mowlem co-drove his car with Stephane Ortelli.
Mowlem completed a rare triple when he drove for three different teams in the most important 24-hour events in the world, the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the 24 Hours at Le Mans and the 24 Hours at Spa. He drove in the GT classes in those events.
Perhaps his most notable drives came at the end of the season when Mowlem joined the works Zytek team to compete in the LMP1 class of the ALMS. Mowlem and his Zytek co-driver Stefan Johansson finished second in the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta and nearly won the last race of the ALMS season from the pole at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Those events marked Mowlem's first appearances in prototype racecars since 2002 and firmly established him at the top level in international sports car competition. He was already ranked among the world's best GT racers.
Mowlem relished the opportunity to race a prototype.
"The Zytek operation is completely dedicated to winning," Mowlem said. "The car is very competitive at the top level of our sport and it's very nice to be running at the front of the field, racing wheel to wheel with some of the best drivers in the world and with a chance to go for the overall win. However, one thing it has made me realize is that many of the drivers that I regularly race against in the GT class, are driving every bit as hard and as proficiently as the prototype boys, so really we're all in the same league anyway!"
Mowlem also paid homage to the Autosport Design Racing team and all the hard work that they did to get the Aston Martin DBR9S competitive in the Speed World GT championship.
"The whole team worked so hard this year to get us running at the front by the season end. Team owners John Sinders and Tom Papadopoulos (also Mowlem's teammate for the season), were totally dedicated to doing well, and in my mind nothing sums up their commitment to the program better than Tom going out an buying a DBR9 road car at the season finale in Laguna Seca, in order to be able to take a $50 gear box piece from it to allow my car to be fixed in time to make the race!!"
Mowlem said his plans for the 2007 season are not complete, but he hinted that he expects to race on both sides of the Atlantic.
"Sports car racing is growing all over the world, and the fan base looks like it's growing to match." Mowlem said. "I would like to race in front of as many of them as possible!"