Circuit de la Sarthe
‘MISSION ACCOMPLISHED,’ MOWLEM SAYS AFTER LE MANS COMPLETED
LE MANS – Johnny Mowlem and his Jet Alliance teammates finished seventh in class in the classic 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car race, completing a race that many cars could not finish and proving a point about the Lotus Evora. To add to the achievement, they also finished third in points for cars registered for the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (the precursor to next season’s World Championship) where, for the first time, the Le Mans 24 race counted as double point scoring round of the championship.
In a project that first turned a wheel on a race track less than 2 and a half months ago, to reach the end of arguably the greatest endurance race in the world was a huge achievement.
Mowlem’s Evora competed in the GTE Professional class, a class for production-based sports cars that is traditionally dominated by teams with factory backing. Lotus made its return to the 24-Hour race after years away from the event and that return was an unqualified success.
"I can't over-emphasise how incredible an achievement Le Mans was for the whole team,” Mowlem said. “Everyone involved with this project, from Lotus and Ycom who designed and built the car, Cosworth who built the engines, to all the Lotus and Jetalliance boys who worked so hard and slept so little over the last few weeks to make this all possible."
Because of the early developmental stage of the Lotus GTE motorsport program, it was evident that a good result would be impossible to achieve on pure speed against the best GT teams in the world, running the best that Ferrari, Porsche, BMW, Corvette had to offer.
Therefore the plan was to run a consistent pace and try to complete the full 24-hour run and then look at the results. Mowlem and his two co-drivers, Rossiter and Hirschi clicked off laps with metronomic efficiency.
"The fact that the car ran virtually faultlessly the entire race was testament to the preparation of all concerned in this project,” said Mowlem, "It all shows what a great race car base the road car Lotus Evora provides."
In the event, the Evora’s race was not quite completed totally without incident. One tire puncture slowed the car and, after having a flat tire replaced, the Evora also had to return to the pits after one circuit of the track to have a the rear diffuser re-attached.
However, in a race that will be remembered for a number of major accidents, Mowlem and the Jet Alliance team got through the full 24-hour run without serious impediment and demonstrated the reliability that has been engineered into the Lotus. The development work, a team effort among Mowlem, other drivers, and the mechanics these last few months, paid off at Le Mans.
“So many people have worked so hard to make the Evora a reliable racing platform and we accomplished that,” Mowlem said. “Nothing stresses a car like a race does, certainly nothing like this race, Le Mans, but the Evora behaved very well, so it was definitely a case of mission accomplished.”
-source: Johnny Mowlem PR