Sportscar stalwart Johnny Mowlem to retire from professional racing

British sportscar stalwart Johnny Mowlem will retire from professional racing at the end of this season.

Sportscar stalwart Johnny Mowlem to retire from professional racing

The Petit Le Mans finale of the IMSA SportsCar Championship at Road Atlanta in October will be the 47-year-old Briton's final race.

The decision brings to an end an 18-year career as a paid professional in the sportscar ranks that encompassed all the world's major series and categories, including LMP1.

His successes included making it onto the podium at both the Le Mans and Daytona 24-hour classics, and taking a class title in the European Le Mans Series.

Mowlem has decided to retire in order to focus on his new driver coaching and mentoring company, Red River Sports.

"I wanted to retire on my own terms, rather than when there weren't opportunities to carry on," Mowlem told Autosport.

"I've probably only got another another couple of years left at my age anyway and, if I wait, I might not have the opportunities to go forward with Red River that I do now.

"The company is beginning to grow and, if I continue racing, I won't be able to give it the time and focus it needs.

"My head is ruling my heart on this one, because I still love driving and racing."

Mowlem stressed that the decision doesn't mean that he will stop competing entirely: he expects to continue to make race appearances alongside Red River's clients.

"There will be times when I will race with one of the drivers the company is working with," he said.

"What I'm saying is that I won't being doing a full-programme and I definitely won't be selling myself as a professional racing driver any more."

Red River Sports was founded last year together with Ivor Dunbar, who has been coached by Mowlem for the past 12 years.

They contested selected GT events last year before embarking on a full-season in the GT3 Le Mans Cup pro-am series aboard a Ferrari 488 this season.

Red River is also working with another amateur driver in Bonamy Grimes, with whom Mowlem finished second overall in last weekend's Snetterton round of the Britcar Endurance Series.

Mowlem's major international programme this season is in the IMSA series with the BAR1 Motorsport Prototype Challenge team, with which he will contest Petit Le Mans on October 1.

He will miss this month's Austin penultimate round of the series courtesy of a prior engagement in the UK.

MOWLEM'S MAGIC MOMENTS

Mowlem selects the highlights of his long career.

Being presented with the Gregor Grant Award at the Autosport Awards for winning 17 out of 17 races in the 1997 Porsche Cup national series.

Standing on the podium on debut at the Le Mans 24 Hours after finishing third (which subsequently became second) in the GT class with the Skea Porsche team in 2000.

Finishing second overall in the Daytona 24 Hours twice in a row in 2003-04 with the Risi Ferrari and Orbit Porsche teams respectively, and winning a Rolex Daytona watch for class victory on the second occasion.

Finishing second overall at Petit Le Mans behind friend and Audi driver Allan McNish in 2006 aboard the works Zytek 06S LMP1 (pictured at Laguna Seca).

Winning the 2013 European Le Mans Series GTE title alongside Matt Griffin with the Ram Racing Ferrari team.

Claiming back-to-back Prototype Challenge class poles at the Daytona 24 Hours in 2015-16 aboard the BAR1 Motorsports ORECA-Chevrolet FLM09.

shares
comments
Katherine Legge joins Michael Shank Racing for Detroit IMSA round

Previous article

Katherine Legge joins Michael Shank Racing for Detroit IMSA round

Next article

Dual factory campaigns in IMSA and PWC for Acura NSX GT3 in 2017

Dual factory campaigns in IMSA and PWC for Acura NSX GT3 in 2017
Load comments
How the next step in the IMSA and WEC convergence can reunite multiple fronts Plus

How the next step in the IMSA and WEC convergence can reunite multiple fronts

OPINION: Following the latest convergence connection permitting Le Mans Hypercars from the World Endurance Championship to compete against LMDh entries in the IMSA SportsCar Championship from 2023, it could open up enticing options not only to manufacturers but also for the calendar and race formats

WEC
Jul 13, 2021
Why IMSA glory for Mazda would be a bittersweet ending Plus

Why IMSA glory for Mazda would be a bittersweet ending

Mazda believes it has never had a better chance of clinching the title in IMSA's Prototype division. Achieving this goal would be the bittersweet culmination of an achingly hard struggle, after which the brand has decided to quit

IMSA
Apr 11, 2021
The groundbreaking new boss leading GM's sportscar assault Plus

The groundbreaking new boss leading GM's sportscar assault

After taking over Corvette Racing from long-time custodian Doug Fehan, 34-year-old Laura Wontrop Klauser is leading General Motors through a transitional phase in sportscar racing. Here’s how she got into her dream role and what she plans to do with it

IMSA
Mar 21, 2021
Nine things to look out for at the 2021 Daytona 24 Hours Plus

Nine things to look out for at the 2021 Daytona 24 Hours

After a 100-minute sprint race to whet the appetite, the 2021 IMSA SportsCar Championship gets underway properly this weekend. With plenty of significant changes during the winter, here are the key points you need to keep an eye on

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars Plus

Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars

Having gone over seven years without a race win through spells with McLaren, Renault and Haas, Kevin Magnussen's departure from Formula 1 for IMSA with big-hitter Chip Ganassi Racing could give him what he craves most - a chance of success

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights Plus

Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights

Oliver Gavin has stepped down from the full-time Corvette Racing line-up after a stellar career with the team spanning nearly 20 years. He looks back on a stint that encompassed, among other successes, five Le Mans 24 Hours victories

IMSA
Jan 28, 2021
The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked Plus

The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked

The 2020 edition of the Florida sportscar classic is finally taking place this weekend, eight months after its traditional date in March. That meant there was plenty of time for Autosport to pour over its previous 67 races and select the best

IMSA
Nov 11, 2020
When Porsche became a giant-killer Plus

When Porsche became a giant-killer

In the first of a new series celebrating underdog achievements from the annals of motorsport history, we revisit the 2015 Petit Le Mans - where a tyre advantage in appallingly wet conditions helped the GT cars overcome the prototypes

IMSA
Apr 15, 2020