Sebring 12 Hours
MOWLEM LEADS LMPC CLASS IN EARLY HOURS OF SEBRING RACE
SEBRING, Fla. (March 20, 2011) – Johnny Mowlem and his WRO Racing team-mates led the LMPC class in the early hours of the Mobil One 12 Hours of Sebring and ran with the overall leaders before succumbing to mechanical trouble before the end of the 2011 running of the classic American race.
Mowlem, a former class winner here, posted the fastest Le Mans Prototype Class time in the pre-race warm-up and made it clear the team’s Oreca FLM09 would be a car to reckon with during the race.
“We still didn't have the quickest car in the race, but I tried to be as consistent as possible and really work the traffic to maintain a good race pace in the first three hours and I managed to stay near the front and then we used some smart strategy at the first pace car yellow, in order to take the class lead.” Mowlem said. “But this is Sebring and the race is hard to finish. I’m just grateful that my employers at Lotus and the WRO team allowed me to be part of this tremendous race.”
Mowlem spent most of the first three hours of the race at the front of the LMPC class. At one point about two hours in he even ran as high as second overall. The triple stint gave the WRO team the strong start it needed.
“We made some setup changes after qualifying that definitely helped for race day,” Mowlem said. “The car was still very difficult to drive over the bumps but the balance was definitely better and the Michelin tyres stood up well to being triple stinted. It was a fun bit of racing, and I was pleased for Daniel Woodard and the whole team that we managed to lead, and look good for a while, as they had worked really hard against some tough odds the whole race week.”
Mowlem co-drove the car with Luca Moro and Oliver Lombard
Eventually with Olivier at the wheel, The rear diffuser broke with about three hours remaining in the event, forcing the team to retire the car.