Utah: Corsa Motorsports race report

Corsa Motorsports GZ09 Finish at the 2009 Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix; First race of the year of the American Le Man's Series for the Corsa Motorsports Team SALT LAKE CITY -- In its first appearance at a high-speed American Le...

Corsa Motorsports GZ09 Finish at the 2009 Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix; First race of the year of the American Le Man's Series for the Corsa Motorsports Team

SALT LAKE CITY -- In its first appearance at a high-speed American Le Mans Series race, the Corsa Motorsports GZ09 hybrid finished fourth. Two factory Acura cars finished one-two on Sunday at the Miller Motorsports Park.

After two hours, 45 minutes of racing, the Corsa entry, with team drivers Johnny Mowlem and Stefan Johansson sharing duties, finished behind Acura's two ARX-02a entries and taking third was the Intersport Racing Lola in the top LMP1 class.

"Obviously this was a bittersweet race for us. I was pleased with the hybrid during qualifying and at the start of the race. None of the new systems had any issues throughout the race," said Mowlem. "What we learned from this race will put us in a better position to come back stronger in the next race."

Steve Pruitt, owner of Corsa Motorsports, said: "Basically, it came down to a bunch of old parts. This was the second suspension failure of the weekend on a track where you should never have a suspension failure. The battery also failed and it was a brand new battery.

"It was old parts and old technology that cost us a podium finish. We need to look at the positive side and look at where we go from here. The car made it to the end of the race, albeit we sat in the pits for a long time. The hybrid configuration made it difficult to make changes, but we decided to go with that configuration for good reason."

The car had all the hybrid components onboard, but ran only under power from its 4.0 liter internal combustion engine.

"We had to learn what happens to the individual components under race conditions -- the G forces, the vibrations, the heat. This was really more of a test session for us. We wanted to get some real-time data we can use for future races,'' said Pruitt.

"We feel we had the best possible setup given circumstances, such as meeting minimum weight requirements. The systems are not small enough at this point to get the weight down.''

The car experienced a minor problem with one of the rear wheels on lap 68. Engineers worked on the car for several minutes before it was able to return to the track.

"We finished, which is what we were hoping to do. We had a few dramas, which is a shame because we were looking at a podium. It was a good learning experience, we said before the weekend started we would treat this as a learning session. We learned a lot about what happened to the car this weekend,'' said Johansson. "We have a better understanding of what the car will do in a race situation."

-credit: cm

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Stefan Johansson , Johnny Mowlem , Steve Pruitt