MOWLEM, RISI GT2 WINNERS IN ALMS RACE AT MOSPORT BOWMANVILLE, Ont., Canada (Sept. 2, 2006) -- Johnny Mowlem turned a masterful performance into victory when he led a Ferrari sweep of the GT2 class in the Grand Prix of Mosport. It was the first...
MOWLEM, RISI GT2 WINNERS IN ALMS RACE AT MOSPORT
BOWMANVILLE, Ont., Canada (Sept. 2, 2006) -- Johnny Mowlem turned a masterful performance into victory when he led a Ferrari sweep of the GT2 class in the Grand Prix of Mosport. It was the first time Ferrari has finished first and second in an American Le Mans Series race.
"I'm delighted for the whole Risi team and Guiseppe himself," Mowlem said. "They worked so hard all week and they really deserve all the credit for the one-two finish"
Mowlem co-drove his car, part of the Risi Competizione team, with Stephane Ortelli. Maurizio Mediani and Toni Vilander drove the second team car.
"It's very exciting," Mowlem said. "I have to say that it was one of the easiest wins I've ever driven because Stephane drove so beautifully and the team got it right."
The two-hour, 45-minute race began with Ortelli driving. He and Mowlem had shared the class pole the day before, due to qualifying being rained out and the fastest times from all three practice sessions being averaged out to decide the pole. At the start Ortelli dropped back two spots due to opening-lap shuffling. But he handed the car to Mowlem at about the midway point of the race after climbing back into contention.
Mowlem joined the fray with his car third in the GT2 scoring, but he soon had the class lead and stayed there. The other top GT2 cars pitted twice, but Mowlem finished without stopping.
"We knew we could go with just one stop, but we also knew we had the pace," Mowlem said. "I knew I could have gone a second a lap faster without having to stop."
The result was big news for both the Risi team and for Ferrari. It lifted the team to within two points of the class leader and gave Ferrari a similar boost in the manufacturers competition. It was also the first Ferrari one two finish in ALMS history.
Mowlem's first race of the weekend was in the SPEED World GT Challenge. He drove an Aston Martin DG9 for Autosport Design Racing.
Mowlem started 12th but got punted off on the first lap and hat to pit for body damage before rejoining in last place by well over a minute. He stormed back to finish 11th. Teammate Tom Papadopoulos started 16th and charged all the way to a seventh place finish.
"I drove pretty hard for an 11th-place finish," Mowlem said. "Tom drove beautifully and carried the race for us with a great result."