John Bowe: Driver report card, part one

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 23/12/2014
  • By John Bowe

What a tough year. When I look down the drivers list and consider who finished where, it is a reflection of how tough this business really is.

This group - from 25th to 16th in the Championship, the bottom 10 - is case in point, containing the likes of Todd Kelly, Scott Pye and Tim Slade.

Some of the drivers here are easily capable of being Champions, and this year they finished in the back-end of the field. I've said it all season long; this is the toughest/closest category in world motorsport.

Have a read and see what you think.

25. Robert Dahlgren, Volvo Polestar Racing

Unfortunately Robert found out how tough V8 Supercars really is, as have many Europeans before him. Like others he arrived here with an impressive CV. It must have been very frustrating for him; he did handle the beatings with great dignity though.

24. Dale Wood, Team ADVAM/GB Gal
I honestly expected Dale to finish higher in the order; he has two very accomplished team-mates to learn from. He did have the occasional super performance, so he can do it - he's capable, he just needed stronger results.

23. Jack Perkins, Team JELD-WEN
I really felt for Jack, the Ford was quite tricky to drive and set up. His team-mates have been in Fords for years and they battled with the setup too. In reality Jack probably needed another year, but sadly that's how tough our game is. I hope he gets another shot!

22. Todd Kelly, Jack Daniel's Racing
You don't forget how to drive and clearly Todd knows how but it's becoming increasingly obvious that running a business like a four car V8 Supercar team is very distracting. I'm not sure there is a solution, to be honest. Only he can make that decision.

21. David Wall, Wilson Security DJR
David is a friend so I've tried to be unbiased. I think he has had an up and down year. I know and understand his way of driving, I think David Wall in a GRM Volvo will surprise more than just a few.

20. Lee Holdsworth, Erebus Motorsport
For this fellow to finish in 20th position, it clearly reflects a troublesome season. Don't know the detail, but there'll be one. I think Lee in a Walkinshaw Holden (which has been rumoured) will be great to see. Expect him to be closer to the front, he is a quality driver.

19. Scott Pye, Wilson Security DJR
I truly believe Scotty is a Champion in the making given another season or two. He is truly gifted; it's very disappointing that he doesn't have a drive next year. Come on Roland, if anyone can run three cars successfully, you can!

18. Russell Ingall, Repair Management Racing Australia
As I said a year ago, Rusty does not need to retire. For a small, moderately funded team, this was a really good effort. Look who finished beyond him. I would like to see him continue to be honest, the last of the hard ass racers!

17. Tim Slade, Supercheap Auto Racing
To be honest, I thought Tim would finish higher this year. He has shown previously, he has the speed and consistency to win races. Being part of a four car team has good and bad things going for it. At least he has another shot next year; anything outside the top 10 will be disappointing!

16. James Moffat, Norton Hornets
James fell away towards the end of the season but held his own against his team-mates on occasions. A ferocious racer, good to watch with a hard edge to his racing, I reckon. As a racer you want to finish in front of your team-mates!

Stay tuned next week for my opinions on those in the mid-field.

Cheers,
JB

Follow John Bowe on Facebook. Bowe is supported by Wilson Security, Dunlop Super Dealers and Coates Hire, and competed in the 2014 Touring Car Masters Championship.

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