John Bowe: Another cracker race at Mount Panorama

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 16/10/2015
  • By John Bowe

Another cracker race at Mount Panorama and a well deserved victory to the Triple Eight Racing thanks to a splendid job by Craig Lowndes and Steven Richards.

There's no safer nor determined pair of hands to have in your race car at the end of an endurance race than Craig Lowndes, I know - we were teammates in the Maranello Motorsport Ferrari and we won the 2013 Bathurst 12 Hour.

Whether Jamie deliberately created a gap for him after the last restart is academic in my mind, I would do the same thing and so would every driver in the field in the same situation.

It's amazing when you look at the top ten and the last laps of the race, the same top of the pile teams and drivers come onto the play. It's not a bad advertisement for veterans if you want to call Lowndes, Tander and Bright veterans ... and let's not overlook my mate Rusty (Russell Ingall).

The race has developed over the past few years into an intense game of strategy on fuel burn, or more to the point fuel saving and driver stint management. This year was no exception and the best teams do the best job of managing those ingredients to put their lead driver in a winning position.

My 'JB Drive of the Day' goes to 'Gutsy Garth Tander' - his moves during the day were inspirational as was Scotty McLaughlin in the lone Wilson Security Volvo.

GRM do a great job but I don't think the Volvo engine is quite up to the performance of the top Holdens and Fords and that showed in the longer race. There has obviously been some engine development going on in some teams.

With the winners coming from outside the top ten two years in a row, why don't we scrap qualifying and save the teams masses of money? I'm only joking really, it goes to show the one lap pace has nothing to do with winning the great race.

The all girl Harvey Norman team did a good job under the circumstances, I imagine next year will be much easier for them. They're not without talent but Bathurst rewards experience ... it's a fantastic initiative so why didn't the race promoters invite Leanne Tander, Melinda Price and Kerryn Brewer, the last all girls to race in the 1000km race.

It would have been a fitting tribute. Unlike Davey Reynolds, I'm a big girl racer fan!

There's no substitute for doing the laps around that place, seat time is what they needed. How good would it be to see Simona here racing full time?

As the Bathurst fuss dies down the announcements have started to come. The worst kept secret in V8 Supercars was Fabian Coulthard going to DJRTP. The bigger news in my mindis BJR engineer Phil Keed is joining Fabian at DJRTP - although he (Keed) made the announcement first.

I've said many times, modern professional racing had become an engineer's game. If you have talent and are lucky enough to score a great engineer who's on your wave length, you're on your way.

Fabian has been fortunate to have Phil, and now he goes to DJRTP without having to learn another engineer, with an engineer who understands how he drives and likes the car to react. That's a big help in settling into a new team.

While still on DJRTP, don't underestimate Scotty Pye - I reckon he's about ready to make that final step and Fabian's presence will aid the process. All eyes now turn to the Gold Coast.

It's a very rough and tumble circuit, if ever there's a circuit far removed from Bathurst as humanly possible - it's the Gold Coast. Given that fact, having the final round of the PIRTEK Enduro Cupon a street circuit is a challenge because your co-driver can make or break you with the most minor mistake.

The performance of co drivers was quite varied at Bathurst, without wishing to mention any names, there are some that need to lift their game - who I feel were below par!

Finally, I hope Chaz makes a full and speedy recovery - I reckon I have the answer as to who should fill his seat atPRA while Chaz is on the mend. Answer - he drives my 'Mustang Sally' in Touring Car Masters. Yep, you guessed it, Steve Johnson would do an outstanding job, with 20 years experience, he's fast, doesn't crash and is very easy on the gear and he'll bring the car back in good shape.

See you on the Gold Coast .. it's gunna be a ripper finish to the PIRTEK Enduro Cup- I can't wait!


Follow John Bowe on Facebook. Bowe is supported by Wilson Security, Dunlop Super Dealers and Coates Hire, and competing in the 2015 Touring Car Masters Championship.

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