Road Atlanta: Johnny Mowlem preview

MOWLEM, REVOLUTIONARY ZYTEK HEAD FOR PETIT LE MANS ATLANTA, Georgia (DATE) -- Johnny Mowlem is excited about going racing. He's a professional racer and it's been too long for him since his last race. ...

MOWLEM, REVOLUTIONARY ZYTEK HEAD FOR PETIT LE MANS

ATLANTA, Georgia (DATE) -- Johnny Mowlem is excited about going racing. He's a professional racer and it's been too long for him since his last race.

But Mowlem's participation in the Petit Le Mans race of the American Le Mans Series on October 4th represents more than a chance to beat the best drivers in the world in a challenging 10-hour race at Road Atlanta.

Mowlem and his Corsa Motorsports teammates are standing on the abyss of a new kind of racing, a major technological step forward. Their Zytek chassis will be powered by power package guided by the new KERS system, a combination of electric and internal combustion power.

Think it as a hybrid on steroids. Lots of steroids.

"This will be one of the world's toughest proving grounds for a technology that can benefit everyone," Mowlem said. "This is an exciting moment for all of us, but it is still one step along the way. After the Petit, we go on to California for the race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca."

Two final days of testing next weekend will determine whether the new KERS system is raced at the 10 hours of Petit Le Mans. Mowlem has been the lead development driver in so far as up until now he is the only driver to have recently driven the Zytek 07S in it's LMP1 configuration.

"Testing has gone well," Mowlem said. "I can say that we've learned every time we've had the car on track and that is the key to any development program. We've been evaluating engine developments as well."

KERS stands for kinetic energy recovery system. It is a three-phase induction electric motor powered by batteries. The internal combustion engine is powered by ethanol.

"You have to credit Steve Pruitt, Corsa Motorsports' leader, for taking the plunge," Mowlem said. "Remember, we started the season driving a Ferrari in the GT2 class. A mid-season switch like this is a logistical terror, but Steve made the commitment and look where we are now."

Similar to this year's coverage from the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in March, SPEED will host a Petit Le Mans special starting at 7 p.m. ET Thursday, October 2. The show will originate pit side, previewing the race and providing a taste of on-track activity and off-track reaction as the race's night practice session unfolds. Then, on Oct. 3, qualifying will be streamed live by americanlemans.com and SPEEDtv.com starting at 3:25 p.m. ET.

On October 4, six-and-a-half total hours of race coverage from the penultimate event of the 2008 American Le Mans Series season starts at 11 a.m. ET with the start of the 1,000-mile sports car classic.

The race will also be shown on Motors TV.

Mowlem's co-drivers for Petit Le Mans will be Gunnar Jeanette and Ralf Kelleners.

-credit: www.johnnymowlem.com.

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Series ALMS
Drivers Johnny Mowlem , Steve Pruitt