Ram Racing will make their race debut with a star-filled driver quartet at next month’s Dubai 24 Hours, with three men whose CVs are filled with sportscar racing experience.
Such is the quality of the line-up, that of the three professional drivers who will drive the team’s Ferrari 458 GT3, Guy Smith has the least experience, at least at GT level. Englishman, however, is a 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, victorious with Bentley in 2003. Smith has a further seven starts at Le Mans – all in the prototype classes – as well as being a regular driver with Dyson Racing in the LMP1 class of the American Le Mans Series.
His two professional teammates, meanwhile, have a long history with GT racing, and Ferraris specifically. Brazilian Jaime Melo is twice a class winner at Le Mans and class champion in the ALMS with Risi Competizione.
The race at Dubai (January 11-12) will put Melo back on the same team as Johnny Mowlem – Ram Racing’s lead driver for their maiden season. The pair were part of the Risi line-up that won the 2007 12 Hours of Sebring, Mowlem also having Ferrari experience in the ALMS with Corsa Racing, though in more recently he was part of the short-lived Lotus effort in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup in 2011. Mowlem will also be the only driver on the team who has competed in the Middle Eastern 24 hour race before.
The team will be completed by gentleman driver Cheerag Arya.
“We’re delighted that Jaime and Guy are joining us for Dubai, as their experience and race-winning talent is beyond doubt,” said team principal Dan Shufflebottom. “ What Guy lacks in GT laps, he more than makes up for in race knowledge and talent, and Jaime needs no introduction when it comes to Ferrari GT racing. He and Johnny have won endurance races together in the past, and his feedback will be invaluable to us”. And what of the fourth member of the driver line-up? “ Cheerag is an old friend who is a massive Ferrari fan and who wanted to put the 24H Dubai on his racing CV – what better mentors could he have than Melo, Mowlem and Smith?”