The Corsa Motorsports team has been left with a busy week ahead to prepare for the final round of the American Le Mans Series after the team was forced to retire from the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.
The team had been making a solid start to life with its new Zytek 07S, despite being forced to delay the introduction of its new hybrid power system and with its drivers facing an extra challenge in the race after the pit-to-car radio system failed to work correctly.
Johnny Mowlem had been at the wheel of the car from the start of the race and he moved forwards through the field having qualified 17th overall and seventh in LMP1.
“The car's race pace was incredible,” he said. “I was able to pass with ease and Alan McNish in the Audi was the only one able to pass me. I felt like things were going well.”
Having handed the car over to Stefan Johansson, the Swede continued to make solid progress until shortly before the two-hour mark when a suspension failure saw him go off at high-speed into the tyre wall at turn twelve.
“I don't know what happened, so there's not a lot to say,” he said. “I felt something snap. I think it was the left front. I came down the hill and everything was fine. I tried to turn but the car kept going straight. I've had a few like this before.”
Despite the misfortune of wrecking the car, the team was encouraged by its run and is looking forward to continued development of the chassis and engine program with Zytek.
“We've got a commitment to be at Leguna Seca, so our crew is going to be hard at work this next week and a half to reassemble the Zytek and get it ready to race; we're hopeful we can make it happen,” team principal Steve Pruitt said. “Only time will tell.
“The goal today was simply to finish the race. We opened incredibly well, so it's disheartening to see the team work so hard and then something misfortunate like this happen. Our crew and drivers have been outstanding this week and have all worked hard to get the new LMP1 program in place. That effort is evident and I am thankful for it.”