Utah: Johnny Mowlem race report

MOWLEM, CORSA TEAM CHASE MOMENTUM IN UTAH TOOELE, Utah (May 20, 2008) -- Momentum can be a tricky partner. Just when you feel everything is moving in the right direction, you can lose your momentum. Johnny Mowlem, along with co-driver Gunnar...

MOWLEM, CORSA TEAM CHASE MOMENTUM IN UTAH

TOOELE, Utah (May 20, 2008) -- Momentum can be a tricky partner. Just when you feel everything is moving in the right direction, you can lose your momentum.

Johnny Mowlem, along with co-driver Gunnar Jeanette and the Corsa Motorsports team, thought everything was going the right way before the start of the Larry H Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix American Le Mans Series race at Miller Motorsports Park. But on-track incidents and the resulting pit stops relegated the team's Ferrari 430 GT to a disappointing eighth place finish in the GT2 class.

"It's quite disheartening, really," Mowlem said. "Gunnar did a good job qualifying the car, but after the race started he got hit by another car, and later when he came in for the driver change, the resulting damage meant we couldn't open the driver side door. I managed to crawl in the other side but the organisers wouldn't let me go out if I was unable to open the driver's side door which, to be fair, is pretty logical!"

The team lost nearly three laps repairing the door. Mowlem's ensuing stint was productive but frustrating. He rejoined down in 12th place and gained several spots, pulling back 51 seconds to finally catch the seventh place #28 Corvette. The Corvette drove quite defensively, to keep Mowlem behind, but with three laps remaining Mowlem got the #48 Corsa Motorsports Ferrari got a run around the outside going into the chicane and although Mowlem got ahead, as he turned in the Corvette touched his left rear wheel spinning the Ferrari off into the gravel. Mowlem and his team would still be classified in 8th place, but it was a disappointing result given their strong run of recent results.

"In the last hour the team came on the radio and said we were turning lap times as fast as the top four or five cars in the class," Mowlem said. "This gave me even more determination to keep pushing. I tried to take care of my front tyres by turning off my traction control half way through the stint, as the Dunlops were taking a real hammering on this really fast circuit, and I have to say that I thought the tyres stood up to it really well."

Mowlem does not race in the United States again until July, when the ALMS visits Lime Rock Park in Connecticut.

-credit: johnnymowlem.com

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Series ALMS
Drivers Johnny Mowlem