Johnny Mowlem

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Johnny Mowlem
Nationality United Kingdom British
24 Hours of Le Mans career
Participating years 2000, 2001, 2003, 2006–2008, 2011, 2013, 2014
Teams Skea Racing International, Ecurie Ecosse, RML, Risi Competizione, Creation Autosportif, Lotus Jetalliance
Best finish 2nd GT Class 2000

Johnny Mowlem (born 12 February 1969) is a professional British racing driver. He is the 2013 European Le Mans Series GT champion. He has won class victories in both the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring, and has earned podiums at virtually all of the world's major sports car races, including the Le Mans 24 hours and the 1000 km Nürburgring. He has also achieved overall podium finishes at the Daytona 24 hours as well as at the famous 10 hour Petit Le Mans race in the USA. Mowlem began his careers in single seaters racing up to Formula 3 level and got his big break when he was chosen personally by triple Formula One World Champion Jackie Stewart to join his "staircase of "talent" team in the junior single seater formula alongside drivers of the calibre of Dario Franchitti, Allan McNish and Gil de Ferran. He switched to sportscars in 1996, winning the Class 1 championship of the British Porsche Cup and then gained international recognition the following year in 1997 when he won all 17 races of the British Porsche Cup to become British champion. This launched his professional career in World Sportscars. Later in his career he gained further international attention for his work as a driver of the hybrid-powered Ginetta Zytek prototype racer in the ALMS in 2008 and 2009. In 2010, Mowlem was a Lotus Racing factory driver, driving the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) and in the International GT Open Series for sports cars in Europe. His latest driving championship came in the European Le Mans Series in 2013. Mowlem raced in the ALMS series every year that sanctioning body held races. Mowlem also operates his own driving academy, working with both corporate clients and drivers wishing for a career in racing. [1]

Mowlem’s career has been followed for over the last decade in his home country through a series of documentary television programs that air on the Television network Sky Sports Television.

Personal life[edit]

Mowlem, who was born in London, was raised in Majorca, Spain from the age of one until he was seventeen years old. He attend Leeds University where he achieved a joint Honors BA degree in Spanish and Economics. Along with his wife, Fiona, he has two children; a son named Reece and a daughter, Sereina.

Mowlem has a tremendous fitness ethic. He took part in the London Marathon, completing the distance, as part of a charity fundraiser by the British Racing Drivers Club in 2010. The BRDC effort raised eighty thousand pounds. Mowlem's effort was all the more remarkable as his training was limited by a torn Achilles tendon suffered three months earlier. Mowlem was hurt while playing soccer. He ran the London Marathon again in 2011 lowering his personal best to the 3hr 45m mark.

Early career[edit]

Mowlem started his racing career in 1990, at age 19, when he competed in Formula Ford 1600 at Brands Hatch. He raced for Jackie Stewart’s Staircase of Talent team in the British Formula Vauxhall Lotus class before moving up to the British Formula 3 championship in 1995, winning four national victories.

Mowlem then switched to sports cars in 1996, racing in the British Porsche Cup in 1996 and 1997, winning the class 1 championship in 1996 and then generated his first major media attention in 1997 by winning all 17 races to become British champion for the second time. He earned the pole position for 14 of the 17 events. Winning this championship by remaining un-defeated throughout an entire season earned him international recognition and the Gregor Grant Award for outstanding achievement in motorsport at the International Autosport Awards.

International career[edit]

In the 1998 season, Johnny Mowlem along with co-driver David Murry competed in the GT class in the ALMS finished first in the GT class at Laguna Seca Raceway.

Mowlem also finished second in the GT class in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 1999. That same year, Mowlem and with co-driver David Murry competed in the GT class in the ALMS finished first in the GT class at Laguna Seca Raceway, setting the fastest GT lap of the race with a new track record. The 2000 season included second place class finishes in the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.[1] By then Mowlem was a full-time competitor in the North American-based ALMS while living in the UK. In 2001, Mowlem continued his ALMS career. He drove with a number of co-drivers in the GT and GT1 class. He posted the fastest lap by a GT1 car during the Le Mans race.

Mowlem partnered with Randy Pobst to finish second in the GT class at Le Mans in 2002. He partnered with international stars Tony Stewart and Jan Lammers to drive a factory Crawford race car in the Daytona Prototype category at Daytona. An engine failure stopped the trio after 15 hours.

Major victories and championships[edit]

In 2003 Mowlem continued to compete in the United States, earning a second place in GT and second overall at the Daytona 24 Hours and Sebring 12 Hours, as well as victory at the ALMS round held at Road America.

Mowlem won the GT class and again finished second overall at Daytona in 2004, driving with Robin Liddell, Mike Fitzgerald and Jay and Joe Policastro.

Mowlem finished third in the ALMS GT1 drivers’ championship in 2004 and 2005. He also competed in several Rolex Sports Car Series events in the United States during those seasons and, including trips for testing sessions, crossed the Atlantic Ocean about 100 times during those two years.

Mowlem won the 2005 UK Reading Sports Personality of the Year, an honour reserved for the top sports performers in his region. Mowlem showed his adaptability during the 2006 season, racing an Aston Martin DBRS9 for Autosport Design Racing in the SPEED World Challenge GT series as well as competing in the International GT Open series in a Porsche and in two different classes in the ALMS. The latter led to one of the highlights of his career. Racing in the ALMS, Mowlem won the GT2 class at Mosport in a Ferrari, and then drove for the factory Zytek team in the LMP1 class in the last two races of the season. Teamed with former Formula One driver Stefan Johansson and Japanese Haruki Kurosawa, Mowlem finished second overall in the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta and nearly won the season finale from pole position, again with Johansson, at the newly renamed Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

In 2007 Mowlem continued his strong association with Ferrari, racing a 430 in the GT2 class for the Pirelli factory GPC Ferrari team in the Le Mans Series as well as the International GT Open championship. He also drove for the Risi Competizione Ferrari team as their third driver alongside Mika Salo and Jaime Melo in the longer endurance races. This driver combination brought Ferrari a class victory in the 2007 12 Hours of Sebring, with the closest margin of victory in the history of the championship, two tenths of a second. That victory margin added to Mowlem’s closest finish in Daytona 24 Hours history in 2004, where he finished 6.7 seconds ahead of Mike Rockenfeller after 24 hours of racing. At Le Mans in 2007, Salo/Melo/Mowlem were leading their class by 3 laps when Melo had an accident, spinning on an oil slick seventeen hours in the event.

Mowlem joined Corsa Motorsports for the 2008 ALMS season, racing a Ferrari in the GT2 class. Late in the season, the team started an new venture in conjunction with Zytek. Mowlem's continuing association with the Zytek team resulted in a joint effort to race a hybrid-powered car in the P1 class in ALMS. The Ginetta-Zytek GZ09HS hybrid car debuted in 2009. The car, was powered by a hybrid power plant. It combined an internal combustion engine and an electric motor. The effort made history when Mowlem qualified the car third and finished third in the P1 class in a race at Lime Rock Park. Mowlem did much of the test driving during the extensive development process conducted by Zytek.[2]

In 2010 the hybrid program was put on hold but Mowlem has continued his career in ALMS securing drives in the LMPC at Long Beach and Laguna Seca and at Road America and Mosport in a LMP1 Lola driving for AutoCon. Mowlem put the PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports car on the LMP Challenge class pole with a new track record lap averaging 103.558 mph. This LMPC track record in the American Le Mans Series still stands today.[3]

Mowlem signed with Lotus in 2011 to drive race cars for the famed car maker. He is also the primary test driver for the company's development program. He said, "This is the opportunity of a lifetime. Many of the great drivers in racing history have been associated with Lotus at one time or another. Now I'm one of them." He won for Lotus the Vallelunga 6 hours Silver Cup for GT4 machinery, setting pole position and fastest lap, and also finished third in the 2011 Dubai 24 hours alongside Greg and Leo Mansell and Stefano D'Aste. He also spearheaded the Le Mans 24 Lotus factory effort alongside Rossiter and Hirschi, starting the race and also bringing the Lotus Evora GTE car home in its first major endurance event in 7th place in the GT class.

For 2012, Mowlem signed to drive selected long distance races racing in the LMP1 premier category for Dyson Racing in the American Le Mans Series. The Dyson agreement was reached with permission from Lotus.

Mowlem won the European Le Mans Series GTE driving championship in 2013. Driving a Ferrari 458 GTE for Britain-based RAM Racing, Mowlem and co-driver Matt Griffin won their class in three races and did not finish worse than second in class all season long.

Mowlem also raced on the U.S. side of the Atlantic in 2013. He joined the Dyson Racing LMP1 effort, driving the Thetford/RACER Lola Mazda at Virginia International Raceway, co-driving with Guy Smith. Mowlem started the race and gave the car to Smith with the lead. Smith also led the race before finishing second overall due to an unfortunate strategy call.

At the end of the 2013 season, Mowlem was awarded the Richard Burns Memorial Trophy during the Reading Sports Personality Awards in England. The Burns Trophy is the highest accolade the Reading event issues each year.

Racing record[edit]

Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
2000 Australia Skea Racing International United States David Murry
Germany Sascha Maassen
Porsche 911 GT3-R GT 304 17th 2nd
2001 United Kingdom Ecurie Ecosse
United Kingdom Ray Mallock Ltd.
United Kingdom Ian McKellar
Belgium Bruno Lambert
Saleen S7-R GTS 175 DNF DNF
2003 United States Risi Competizione United States Shane Lewis
United States Butch Leitzinger
Ferrari 360 Modena GTC GT 138 DNF DNF
2006 United States ACEMCO Motorsports United States Terry Borcheller
Brazil Christian Fittipaldi
Saleen S7-R GT1 337 11th 6th
2007 United States Risi Competizione Finland Mika Salo
Brazil Jaime Melo
Ferrari F430 GT2 GT2 223 DNF DNF
2008 United Kingdom Creation Autosportif United Kingdom Stuart Hall
Belgium Marc Goossens
Creation CA07-AIM LMP1 316 24th 11th
2011 Austria Lotus Jetalliance Switzerland Jonathan Hirschi
United Kingdom James Rossiter
Lotus Evora GTE GTE
Pro
295 22nd 7th
2013 Canada HVM Status GP Switzerland Jonathan Hirschi
Canada Tony Burgess
Lola B12/80-Judd LMP2 153 DNF DNF
2014 United Kingdom Ram Racing United Kingdom Archie Hamilton
United States Mark Patterson
Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 GTE
Am
319 32nd 12th

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Le Mans Register - 2000". Formula2.net. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  2. ^ "Hybrid race car makes ALMS debut in Utah". Planetlemans.com. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Dale Earnhardt
Jabby Crombac
Gregor Grant Award - Autosport Awards
1997
Succeeded by
Lord March
Klaus Ludwig
Alex Zanardi