Sportscar stalwart Johnny Mowlem is relishing the chance to race a prototype at the Le Mans 24 Hours for only the second time after firming up his deal to race with the HVM Status GP LMP2 squad in next month's event.
Mowlem, whose previous Le Mans start at the wheel of a prototype came at the wheel of a Creation LMP1 in 2009, will drive the HVM Status Lola-Judd/BMW B12/80 together with Jonathan Hirschi and Tony Burgess, who raced the car at this month's Imola European Le Mans Series round.
"Le Mans is my favourite race anyway, so I'm delighted to be going back for a ninth time after a year away," said Mowlem, who finished second at Petit Le Mans in 2006 driving a works-entered Zytek, "but to do it in a prototype makes it even more special.
"Corners like Indianapolis and the Porsche Curves are mind-blowing in a prototype. The cornering forces through the Porsche Curves — probably my favourite sequence of corners anywhere in the world — are amazing."
Mowlem explained that he was not concerned about a lack of testing in the car after racing the Dyson team's Lola-Mazda B12/60 LMP1 in two American Le Mans Series events last season.
"I went up to Status last week and sat in the car, and it didn't feel too different to the Dyson Lola," he said.
"The biggest difference is that the forward visibility is much better because you don't have those big LMP1 front wheels."
A podium finish is a realistic target for Status, according to Mowlem.
"Even though the LMP2 field is so strong this year, I think that anyone who has a clean run is going to be in with a shot of a podium," he explained. "I'm hopeful that we can do that."
Mowlem's main programme in 2013 is in the ELMS with the new Ram Racing Ferrari team, which gave up its place on the reserve entry list last month.
Mowlem and Matt Griffin lead the ELMS GTE points following a class victory aboard their Ferrari 458 Italia at Imola.