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Road America: Johnny Mowlem race report

MOWLEM FIFTH IN WORLD CHALLENGE GT RACE AT ROAD AMERICA ELKHART LAKE, Wisc. (Aug. 20, 2006) -- British sports car star Johnny Mowlem finished fifth in round seven of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship at...

MOWLEM FIFTH IN WORLD CHALLENGE GT RACE AT ROAD AMERICA

ELKHART LAKE, Wisc. (Aug. 20, 2006) -- British sports car star Johnny Mowlem finished fifth in round seven of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship at Road America.

Mowlem, driving Autosport Design Racing Aston Martin DBR9S, qualified ninth and bolted to fifth place in just two laps. He made it as high as fourth place before losing a spot in the final minutes of the race.

"The whole team needed the lift that this finish gave them and many people from outside the team were very complimentary afterwards in saying that this result has put the team on the map," Mowlem said. "It was a great shame that my team mate Tom Papadopoulos himself fought brilliantly to climb from 27th to 15th place by half race, only to be sidelined by a puncture."

Team owner Papadopoulos was credited with finishing 26th after pulling off the track late in the going due to tire trouble. Papadopoulos got up to 15th and was running 16th when the trouble struck.

The 34-car field finished the 19-lap race with just one caution period. The star-studded field included other American Le Mans Series stars such as Andy Pilgrim and Ron Fellows. In the opening laps, Mowlem was the star.

"Qualifying was good to start ninth," said Mowlem. "Then I got a great start to pass Mike McCann and Ron Fellows into turn one, then I passed Andy Pilgrim, the reigning champion, into turn five and then held him off after a yellow for a huge accident at the flat out "Kink" corner which destroyed two cars. I got up to fourth with four laps to go for but McCann got back up to me and tapped me a couple of times so I thought it better to settle for a safe fifth rather than end up in a ditch somewhere!"

The field included cars from seven manufacturers, several with factory backing. Mowlem said beating the factory-backed teams was especially satisfying.

Mowlem's next race will be in Canada at the Mosport American Le Mans Series round, where he will again be competing in the ASR Aston Martin DBR9S. The Road America race will be featured on SPEED Aug. 26 at 2 p.m., Eastern Time.

-credit: www.johnnymowlem.com.

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Series PWC
Drivers Ron Fellows , Andy Pilgrim , Johnny Mowlem , Tom Papadopoulos
Teams HART