Sebring: Johnny Mowlem race report

Road Atlanta Next For Mowlem And Acemco Team SEBRING, Fla. (March 23, 2005) -- As Johnny Mowlem and the ACEMCO Motorsports team look forward to the next race on their 2005 calendar, they have already learned an important note: They can run with...

Road Atlanta Next For Mowlem And Acemco Team

SEBRING, Fla. (March 23, 2005) -- As Johnny Mowlem and the ACEMCO Motorsports team look forward to the next race on their 2005 calendar, they have already learned an important note: They can run with the best GT1 teams in the American Le Mans Series.

The next race for the team will be April 17 at Road Atlanta, the picturesque facility that has been the scene of so many great races through the years. The Road Atlanta race will be the second event of the season in the ALMS title chase.

Mowlem, co-driving the ACEMCO Saleen S7R with Terry Borcheller and Ralf Kelleners, narrowly missed a podium finish in the GT1 class when an engine problem popped up in the closing minutes of the season-opening Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, dropping them out of a definite GT1 podium position.

"Up until then the car didn't miss a beat and the race really came back to us," Mowlem said. "We were trading second place in class every hour at the end, but the engine was 30-minutes short today."

The team was also running in a strong sixth position in the overall scoring when the mechanical problem forced the car out of the running. Still, the team's performance was strong enough to earn it a fourth-place class finish and eighth overall.

Mowlem's quickest practice lap proved to be important when heavy rain forced organizers to cancel qualifying. The starting grid was instead based upon practice times and Mowlem's one minute, 57.881 second trip around the 3.7-mile, 17-turn race course was good enough for the third starting spot in the GT1 class.

The GT1 class is for the most powerful production-based racecars the ALMS has. The class has become a proving ground for bragging rights between some of the world's great sports car manufacturers, such as Corvette, Aston Martin, Maserati, Ferrari and of course; Saleen. It is among the most competitive class in the ALMS.

"We know now that everything the lads did in the shop during the winter worked," Mowlem said. "We were having a terrific race at Sebring and our planning and pit work were impeccable. All of us are looking forward to the race at Road Atlanta."

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Series ALMS
Drivers Ralf Kelleners , Johnny Mowlem