Corsa retains Mowlem Announced today is that British racing star Johnny Mowlem will remain with the Corsa Motorsports team with full factory support from Zytek Engineering for the 2009 racing season. He will drive the LMP1 in the North America-based American Le Mans Series.
Mowlem started the 2008 season with the Corsa team’s GT2 Ferrari entry. Mid way through the season team owner Steve Pruitt linked up with the Zytek factory and switched into the prototype category. The team raced its P1 car twice at the end of the 2008 season, Mowlem qualifying and finishing an excellent third in LMP1 at the season finale in Laguna Seca.
As far as 2009,the team’s initial expectations are realistic. “We think it's important that we don't set too high an expectation for ourselves.” said Steve Pruitt, “It is evident from the amount of Formula 1 press at the moment, that this technology that we're adopting is not easy and is very cutting edge, so we don’t really know exactly what pit falls await us. I am putting in place the right people and ingredients so this team and concept can win races, and Johnny is a part of that. Obviously we need to continue the development work, but we were already among the leaders at Laguna Seca with Johnny and Stefan (Johansson), and we will be competitive next season.”
“Between Steve Pruitt’s excellent Corsa organization and the technical assistance from Zytek, this is a strong effort,” Mowlem said. “It’s a very good combination and I’m very pleased to be a part of it and I’m looking forward to the off-season testing program.”
At the heart of the Corsa/Zytek program is the revolutionary KERS (kinetic energy recovery) hybrid power plant, a combination of an ethanol-fueled (E10) internal combustion engine and a three-phase induction electric motor. The normally aspirated 4.5-liter V8 produces an estimated 625 hp. The electric motor is a direct drive Zytek proprietary design powered by an on-board lithium-ion energy storage system with a KERS supplemental regeneration system.
Mowlem said the partnership between the Zytek engineers and the Corsa mechanical crew means that information moves in both directions. He said the determination to make the program work starts at the top.
“Steve Pruitt at Corsa Motorsports has taken on a huge personal commitment to bring this technology to the ALMS,” Mowlem said. “He has been working tirelessly behind the scenes with Zytek to make this all happen, and I for one think he deserves huge congratulations for achieving it.”