ALTON, Va. (Sept. 17, 2012) -- Johnny Mowlem and his Dyson Racing team-mates finished second overall in the American Le Mans Series VIR 240 at Virginia International Raceway.

#16 Dyson Racing Team Inc. Lola B12/60: Chris Dyson, Guy Smith, Johnny Mowlem
#16 Dyson Racing Team Inc. Lola B12/60: Chris Dyson, Guy Smith, Johnny Mowlem

Photo by: Richard Sloop

Mowlem, who joins the reigning ALMS champions Dyson Racing for the endurance ALMS races, drove two and a half stints for the middle part of the VIR race. Chris Dyson took the start and drove a great first stint to hold second place and then handed over to Johnny, who kept the Dyson Lola Mazda LMP1 in second before handing over to Guy Smith, who then hustled the car to a great finish.

Chris Dyson and Guy Smith are in the midst of a battle for the ALMS’ Le Mans Prototype 1 driving championship and Mowlem admitted that he felt a bit of pressure to make sure his driving efforts helped the defending champions in their hunt to retain their driver's title.

“I was honored that Chris asked me to come and drive with him and Guy in the #16, but I was also aware that as their third driver my job was to not put a foot wrong and do anything that could jeopardize their championship.” Mowlem said. “And at VIR the traffic was crazy so that was always going to be a challenge. In fact in the two plus hours that I was in the car, I only had one lap where I didn't have to overtake another car!"

The Dyson team also used at VIR for the first time a new version of the Kinetic Energy Recovery System, a Flybrid system. This meant that Mowlem became one of the first race drivers to have experienced both battery storage KERS and the mechanical Flybrid KERS system.

"It was 2009 since I last ran in a hybrid race car, in the LMP1 Corsa Motorsports Zytek. I was very impressed with the installation of this Flybrid system in the Dyson Mazda Lola. The bell housing unit is a work of art, and given that this was the first race for the system, it was very impressive.”

The second Dyson entry finished third in the LMP1 scoring after an unfortunate incident at the first corner of the race, but the Dyson team responded well to fix the car in record time and get the car back out on the track.

The ALMS championship finale is the famous Petit Le Mans 10 hour race on October 20th, where the LMP1 Driver's championship will be decided, but Mowlem will be not be racing for Dyson Racing. Instead at this event, the Factory Lotus driver will be placed by Lotus with the American Alex Job Racing team in their LOTUS Evora in the GTE Pro category.

Mowlem's next race before then will be at Monza, Italy at the beginning of October in the International GT Open championship, back in the Scuderia Giudicci factory Lotus GTE.

Source: Johnny Mowlem media