Laguna Seca: Corsa Motorsports race report

Corsa Takes Third in LMP1; Is Highest-Finishing Privateer Team MONTEREY, CA (October 18, 2008) -- In just its second start with the Zytek 07S, Corsa Motorsports grabbed a spot on the LMP1 podium in Saturday evening's Monterey Sports Car ...

Corsa Takes Third in LMP1; Is Highest-Finishing Privateer Team

MONTEREY, CA (October 18, 2008) -- In just its second start with the Zytek 07S, Corsa Motorsports grabbed a spot on the LMP1 podium in Saturday evening's Monterey Sports Car Championships at Laguna Seca. The Salt-Lake City-based race team finished third in class with drivers Stefan Johansson and Johnny Mowlem sharing the driving duties during the four-hour event. In addition to its podium finish, Corsa was the highest-finishing privateer team overall.

"I'm delighted for Steve Pruitt and the entire Corsa Motorsports team, and Zytek Motorsport as well. We raced to a good LMP1 podium," said an excited Mowlem following the race. "The car was very, very quick, especially early on when there was heat in the track. It was a little bit trickier as it got cooler. We were conserving fuel at the end and were able to go without making a splash at the end because of the crazy number of cautions."

Johansson drove the No. 48 to the front of the field, taking the class and overall lead about an hour and 50 minutes into the event, despite being tapped by an Audi in the early minutes of the race. After racing to the lead and maintaining the point for an extended amount of time, the team pitted during a caution for gas, tires and a driver change. Mowlem rejoined the field 12th overall after the engine failed to refire immediately because of a wiring problem.

Strategy enabled the team to maintain its position, with Mowlem making an effort throughout his stint to conserve fuel. The team made a fuel-only stop late in the race, opting not to change tires with hope of keeping its tire temperatures heated as the track surface cooled.

Success did not come without any tribulations during the weekend. The car was unable to participate in the morning warm-up because of a leaking oil pump, which was noticed on the first lap of the session. The team worked quickly to get it repaired for the grid.

"I give a lot of credit to the crew and drivers for their hard work this week," said Steve Pruitt, owner and team principal. "It's been a dream of mine since getting involved in racing to compete for podiums, wins and championships, and this is just the beginning for Corsa Motorsports and Zytek; we see this as the first of many to come and look forward to incorporating Zytek's hybrid technology as we move forward."

Corsa's third-place finish in LMP1 was behind the two Audi works teams which also garnered overall honors.

Corsa Motorsports will spend the off-season preparing its hybrid package which will debut at Sebring in 2009. The car will be powered through the combination of an ethanol-fueled internal combustion engine and a three-phase electric motor. The electric motor is a direct drive Zytek proprietary design powered by an on-board lithium-ion energy storage system with a KERS (kinetic energy recovery) supplemental regeneration system.

-credit: cm

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Series ALMS
Drivers Stefan Johansson , Johnny Mowlem , Steve Pruitt