MOWLEM, PR1 MATHIASEN TEAM BOUNCED OUT OF MAZDA RACE MONTEREY, Calif. (May 24, 2010) -- Whether you're driving along the scenic Pacific Coast Highway or racing at Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca, California traffic can make a hash of even the...
MOWLEM, PR1 MATHIASEN TEAM BOUNCED OUT OF MAZDA RACE
MONTEREY, Calif. (May 24, 2010) -- Whether you're driving along the scenic Pacific Coast Highway or racing at Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca, California traffic can make a hash of even the best plans.
That's what happened to British racing driver Johnny Mowlem during the running of the American Le Mans Series presented by Patron 6-hour race here. A fellow driver's rookie mistake and a taste of bad luck by being in the wrong place at the wrong time, bit the Brit just as he was climbing the standings in the LMP Challenge class around the midway point in the race.
Mowlem had climbed on board two hours into the 6 hour race and was running fourth in his class, setting fast lap after fast lap to reduce a three lap deficit to the LMPC leader to just one lap, when a full-course caution period bunched the field together.
On the ensuing restart, Mowlem was the third car in line behind the Dyson Mazda and the Highcroft Accura LMP cars. The Dyson car out braked himself into turn 11 on the re-start and then spun back onto the track, narrowly avoiding the Highcroft car, but unfortunately slamming into the side of the PR1 Mathiasen car, putting Johnny out of the race on the spot.
"Short of vanishing into thin air, there was nothing I could do about it," Mowlem said, matter of factly. "I didn't even see him coming as I had Brabham on my right hand side, he spun across the front of him and into me head-on. It's fortunate that turn 11 is a slow corner so I wasn't traveling that quickly when he hit me. I'm just really sorry for the PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports team. That's what really hurts. They all worked so hard and gave us such a stellar machine, one capable of still winning the race."
Indeed, the car was fast enough for Mowlem to qualify in pole position in the LMPC class.
"It's trite to just say, 'That's motor racing,' but when you know your car is good enough to win your class and that a podium finish is even more likely, it's just gut wrenching to crash out like that," said Mowlem. "That is especially true at this track, where I enjoy competing so much."
-source: johnny mowlem