MOWLEM, CORSA'S ZYTEK ENTRY FAST AT PETIT LE MANS
ATLANTA, Geo. (Oct. 4, 2008) -- Johnny Mowlem and his Corsa Motorsports teammates Gunnar Jeanette and Stefan Johansson, made their competitive debut a good one in the team's new Zytek Le Mans P1 prototype racecar, racing with the leaders in the Petit Le Mans endurance race at Road Atlanta.
A crash ended the event for the team, but not before the car showed great promise.
Stefan Johansson had qualified the LMP1 Zytek 07S eighth in class and 17th overall. Johnny Mowlem took the start and drove the first 70 laps, double stinting his Dunlop tyres and climbing up to second in the LMP1 class and fourth overall, ahead of both factory Audis and behind only the LMP1 Peugeot and the two Penske Porsches. Mowlem pitted under a caution and handed over to Johansson who resumed the race without losing a position. However disaster would strike only a handful of laps later, when a suspected front left suspension failure caused Johansson to go straight at the flat-out 260kmh final turn. Fortunately, Johansson was okay but the damage to the car was not repairable.
It was a disappointing finish to what was looking like the beginning of a fine podium run in the LMP1 class for the most powerful sports cars in the world. The Petit Le Mans, a 1,000-kilometer struggle, is among the most important sports car races in North America every season. It is an unpredictable test for the cars and their teams and this year attracted arguably the most competitive field from all around the world in the race's history.
The Corsa team did not use the Zytek KERS hybrid power plant in the race, though development work continues on the system and may make its debut at the season finale.
That next race for Mowlem and the Corsa team will be Oct. 18 at Laguna Seca, Monterey, California.