ROLEX 24: MOWLEM, ORBIT HISTORY DOES NOT REPEAT DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 27, 2008) -- Johnny Mowlem and his Orbit Racing teammates soldiered home an eventual 17th place finish in the GT class of the Rolex 24 at Daytona after Mowlem's superb...
ROLEX 24: MOWLEM, ORBIT HISTORY DOES NOT REPEAT
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 27, 2008) -- Johnny Mowlem and his Orbit Racing teammates soldiered home an eventual 17th place finish in the GT class of the Rolex 24 at Daytona after Mowlem's superb qualifying effort gave the team high hopes for a victory.
After Mowlem qualified the car fourth on the GT grid, the Orbit Porsche finished 31st overall in the field of 66 starters, completing 589 laps around Daytona's famed 3.56-mile road course.
"The first five laps were sort of a free-for-all," Mowlem said. "I got hit a few times in the first couple of corners and got shuffled back to seventh. But I worked my way back up to third. Then, at the first full course caution, everyone pitted. But, as we arrived first into the pits, we got trapped in our pit box when we tried to leave the pit lane and we went a lap down. We managed to work our way back up to sixth."
After this unfortunate pit lane incident, Mowlem raced his way toward the front of the field. He ran 14th in class after 47 minutes, but 33 minutes later Mowlem had the car running in seventh place and the Orbit car was in a competitive position.
"Mike, Tom, Lance and I all did the best we could to keep moving forward And after four hours, we were running a strong fifth place," Mowlem said. "Then we had a gearbox problem and we spent about an hour and a half changing the gearbox."
During Mowlem's final double stint, he managed to gain a lap back on the GT class leaders but, as he mentioned when he was interviewed by SPEED Network, "It really didn't help much because we lost another 55 laps with the gearbox failure!"
Mowlem left Daytona after the race, heading for Sebring, Fla., where he is scheduled to test the Ferrari he will race for the Corsa Motorsport team in the 12 Hours of Sebring in March. That race begins Mowlem's 2008 American Le Mans Series season.