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Mowlem to miss Long Beach race

MOWLEM SUFFERS SPECTACULAR EXIT FROM St. PETERSBURG RACE. Mowlem's exit from the Speed World GT Challenge second round, at St. Petersburgh, Fla. was spectacular, if early. His car burst into flames during the recon lap, forcing...

MOWLEM SUFFERS SPECTACULAR EXIT FROM St. PETERSBURG RACE.

Mowlem's exit from the Speed World GT Challenge second round, at St. Petersburgh, Fla. was spectacular, if early. His car burst into flames during the recon lap, forcing the international racing veteran to trigger the in-car fire suppression system, park and bale out.

"It was hot in there - very, very hot," Mowlem said. "I've never experienced heat like it. --there was suddenly a sound like a fierce wind and then flames just came shooting up around me. After that all I could see was orange. It was quite pretty actually! I hit the extinguisher which straight away seemed to calm the flames, (and the heat!), down a little and then I decided to vacate the vehicle rather quickly!"

"I've only got very minor burns on my forearm, caused by the netting over the side window melting - onto me. Fortunately, the marshals were very quick to the scene and did a great job of getting the fire out, and the car was only slightly damaged."

Mowlem had been due to start from the 7th row for the race, but had in fact qualified fastest in his (slower) session.

The next round of the championship for the team was due to be at Long Beach, California this coming weekend, but the Autosport Design Racing team have decided to miss the next round with a view to doing some solid testing and development in close association with Prodrive and Aston Martin Racing.

Johnny's next event in the Aston Martin DBR9S will now be at Mid-Ohio in May.

In the meantime he will be contesting test and development work for the Le Mans 24 hour race in France with the ACEMCO GT1 Saleen team and also racing in the Grand American road racing series at Laguna Seca.

-jmr

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