Johnny Mowlem returns to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this month and he brings with him the same magic that has always worked for him at the venue which has become one of the signature facilities for the American Le Mans Series.
This time however, the magic of the Laguna Seca race will be further enhanced by the fact that the race will last for a full six hours, and will once again race into the darkness.
Mowlem will team with co-drivers Tom Papadopoulos and new recruit Ryan Lewis to drive the PR1 Mathiasen Oreca-Chevrolet LMP Challenge car in the six-hour American Le Mans Series Monterey presented by Patron at the track on May 22. It’s a track where Mowlem has won before. This will be his 10th start at one of his favorite tracks.
“I always love racing at Laguna and it has been kind to me in the past, delivering me a win and six podiums from nine starts,” said Mowlem. “So I’m hoping I can help to deliver the PR1 Mathiasen team their first success in the American Le Mans Series. Tom came on leaps and bounds at Long Beach and I know Ryan is really fast and hungry for success as well.”
The LMP Challenge class is for prototype cars with restricted engines. The class is new for this season and Mowlem, a prototype veteran, said the cars are great to look at and fun to drive.
“This car will be a good match for Mazda Raceway,” said Mowlem. “Especially ours!”
The track sets up well for Mowlem, who has been consistently ranked among the world’s best sportscar drivers for more than a decade now. The racing layout includes high speed corners, low speed corners, elevation changes and one of the most famous sections of track in the world, the corkscrew.
“The nature of this race at Laguna Seca, the six-hour distance, is something that will hopefully play to our strengths,” Mowlem said. “We’ve won 24-hour races (Daytona) and 12-hour races (Sebring). Now it’s time to win a six-hour race!”
© RIF | ALMS