MOWLEM, PRUITT TEAM WITH ZYTEK HYBRID RACING EFFORT CHARVIL, England (September 2, 2008) -- When the England-based Zytek Corporation brings its technical prowess to bear on the task of taking a hybrid petrol/electric...
MOWLEM, PRUITT TEAM WITH ZYTEK HYBRID RACING EFFORT
CHARVIL, England (September 2, 2008) -- When the England-based Zytek Corporation brings its technical prowess to bear on the task of taking a hybrid petrol/electric engine to the highest levels of international sports car racing, Johnny Mowlem will be at the wheel.
Mowlem, who has won both the Daytona Rolex 24 and the Mobile One 12 Hours of Sebring, has driven for the Zytek factory team in the past and played a role in bringing this latest Zytek program to the American Le Mans Series. The Zytek car will race in the LMP1 prototype class of the ALMS and the car will be campaigned by the Steve Pruitt-owned team that Mowlem raced for during the 2008 season.
"The majority of my racing and certainly my successes so far have been in the GT field and, although I certainly don't see myself as completely turning away from GT racing, the deal I now have moving forward for 2009 is an exciting new challenge for me," said Mowlem. "I don't mean that just because of it being in the Le Mans prototype class (the highest level of sports car racing) and going for overall rather than class victories, but also because of all the new cutting edge technology that I will be a part of helping to develop with the new KERS system."
This same technology will be first used in Formula One in 2009, which demonstrates just how at the forefront of this eco-friendly technology is this Zytek announcement.
Initial tests of the car were held at Donington Park in the U.K. in July. Testing will continue in the U.K. before the car is transported to the United States for final testing. The initial competitive appearance is scheduled for the last two races of the 2008 season: the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta at the end of September, followed by the Laguna Seca finale in mid October.
The car is based on a Zytek 07S. It will be powered through a combination of an ethanol-fueled (E10) internal combustion engine and a 3-phase induction electric motor.
The normally aspirated 4.5-liter V8 produces an estimated 625 hp. The electric motor is a direct drive Zytek proprietary design powered by an on-board lithium-ion energy storage system with a KERS (kinetic energy recovery) supplemental regeneration system.
Mowlem's wins at Daytona and Sebring came in GT cars. But he also has experience in prototype racing. In 2006, Mowlem drove a Zytek prototype car to a second place overall finish in the Petit Le Mans 10 hour race, one of the four big events on the World Sportscar championship calendar, and the driver has remained in close contact with the factory ever since.
It was the Zytek connection that led to Mowlem test-driving a Formula One car in 2007.
Steve Pruitt, the owner of Corsa Motorsport, campaigned a GT2 Ferrari during the 2008 season, teaming Mowlem with Gunner Jeannette behind the wheel. Pruitt confirmed that the factory support coming to the team would be as complete as any in the sport, effectively making it a factory team.
"Zytek is well known within the motorsports industry for its race-winning prototype cars and engines," Pruitt said. "However, what most are not aware of is that Zytek is a world leader in petrol-electric hybrid technologies for road cars. In fact, many of the largest auto manufacturers are utilizing Zytek hybrid technology in their road car applications. The Zytek / Corsa hybrid LMP1 car represents the cutting edge of hybrid development with technologies being developed on the race car that will soon be transferred to the road cars of tomorrow."