MOWLEM, ACEMCO SALEEN TAKE PODIUM FINISH AT LIME ROCK LIME ROCK, Conn. (July 4, 2005) - Veteran drivers in the American Le Mans Series know that British racer Johnny Mowlem is at his very best when the finish line is in sight. Mowlem proved...
MOWLEM, ACEMCO SALEEN TAKE PODIUM FINISH AT LIME ROCK
LIME ROCK, Conn. (July 4, 2005) - Veteran drivers in the American Le Mans Series know that British racer Johnny Mowlem is at his very best when the finish line is in sight.
Mowlem proved his point again in the New England Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park. Driving the ACEMCO Motorsports Saleen S7R, Mowlem and co-driver Terry Borcheller finished third in the GT1 class and fifth overall after winning a stirring duel with a factory Maserati GT1 racer over the final laps.
"It was hard work," Mowlem admitted. "But our team has put so much effort into the car since our last race that there was no way I was going to let everyone down. Jeff Giangrande and the team called a very clever strategy which meant that both Terry and I conserved fuel under all the yellows which allowed us to do the race with only one pit stop. That put me in a position to be ahead of the Maserati, given that we had started from the back. The only downside was that at the end Babini was on much fresher tyres than me, but our Michelin tyres held up superbly and allowed me to hold him off to the flag, despite him getting alongside me a couple of times."
Mowlem and Fabio Babini, driver of a Maserati MC12, chased around the 1.5-mile, eight-turn track over the closing laps of the race. There was plenty of slower traffic that made the furious struggle all the more difficult.
The finish was a terrific way to finish the weekend. Borcheller had qualified the car eighth overall and third in class, then had to start last in the 22-car field after a post-qualifying ruling forced the team to make a mechanical change.
"In my view, the GT1 class is the most competitive in the ALMS," Mowlem said. "You have a variety of makes, some with direct factory sponsorship, racing on various tire brands in direct competition. A podium finish, like the one we earned today, means a great deal to us."
The GT1 class features the most powerful production-based sports cars. There were six GT1 cars in the race at Lime Rock and they filled three of the first five finishing positions.
Mowlem will be back in action July 9-10 when he drives a Porsche GT3 RSR in the Italian GT championship series. The race will be held at the Hungaroring Grand Prix circuit in Budapest, Hungary.
The next race for the ALMS teams will be the July 17 event at Infineon Raceway at Sears Point, California.