Mowlem enjoys well-earned breather

MOWLEM HOME FOR BREATHER BEFORE RETURNING TO RACING CHARVIL, England (June 26, 2006) -- British racing star Johnny Mowlem will spend the next couple of weeks re-introducing himself to his family before charging back into his frenetic racing...

MOWLEM HOME FOR BREATHER BEFORE RETURNING TO RACING

CHARVIL, England (June 26, 2006) -- British racing star Johnny Mowlem will spend the next couple of weeks re-introducing himself to his family before charging back into his frenetic racing schedule.

The international sports car racer spent the last month racing three different cars in three different series on tracks spread over three different nations.

"It will be nice to be home with Fiona and the kids for a time," Mowlem said. "We completed a great deal of racing in a relatively short period of time, especially when you consider the Le Mans effort was in the middle of the sandwich."

Mowlem raced the Autosport Design Racing Aston Martin DBR9S in the World GT Challenge in the United States before a final test of the ACEMCO SR7 immediately prior to shipping the car to France for the 24 Hours of Le Mans test day and race. Finally came another round of the International GT open championship for the AutoOrlando Porsche Italy factory team at Estoril in Portugal.

The 24 Hours of Le Mans saw Mowlem and co-drivers Terry Borcheller and Christian Fittipaldi race the ACEMCO SR7 to sixth in the GT1 class, and an 11th-place finish in the overall scoring, a fine achievement for a car in the GT1 class.

"We raced third in class for a number of hours early on," Mowlem said. "That 11th place in the overall is no mean feat at a race as tough as Le Mans. In fact, the top seven GT1 cars all finished in the top 12 overall, which shows the level of world competition that GT1 is currently offering the Le Mans prototypes."

The ACEMCO car was hampered by some loose bodywork, which was quickly changed, and a front wheel bearing failure which Mowlem said, "Caught my attention," on one of the faster sections of the Circuit de la Sarthe. The combination of the two problems cost the team nine laps, about the distance between the ACEMCO team and a chance at the class podium.

" The class result is neither here nor there, but I am certainly proud of the whole ACEMCO team to fight so hard and so long in order to get a great overall finish," Mowlem said. "Just getting a car to the end of the Le Mans 24 hours is almost like a victory in itself, and with this being ACEMCO's only race this year, it makes the result even more impressive."

This years event was Mowlem's fifth time competing at Le Mans, and was his best result since his GT podium in 2001.

"It was a real priviledge to be a part of the Le Mans race again. It never ceases to amaze me as to what a huge event it is. Everyone is so enthusiastic and welcoming. At the driver's parade through the town on Friday we were made to feel like rock stars for a couple of hours!!"

Threedays after the monumental Le Mans effort, Mowlem was on track once more at the Estoril circuit in Portugal. Mowlem co-drove the AutoOrlando Porsche Italy to an eighth-place finish. This was a wild event and teammate Gianluca Roda spun twice before the pair fought back into the top 10. The field was deep in talent and the race was won by ex-Formula One driver Andrea Montermini and Portuguese Pedro Bastos, in a Ferrari 430 GT.

Mowlem's next race will be the July 13-15 World GT Challenge at the new Miller Motorsports Park in near Salt Lake City, Utah.

-www.johnnymowlem.com.

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