John Bowe: End of a season, end of an era

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 03/12/2014
  • By John Bowe

This weekend is the last round of a very gruelling season wrapping up at Homebush, at the Sydney NRMA 500. It's a bit anti-climatic (really) given Jamie Whincup and Triple Eight Race Engineering have done an amazing job - it's all over as far as the Championship battle goes.

It's now left for Lowndesy and Frosty to slug it out for remaining silverware. Sadly, very few people will remember who finishes second. I think Jamie has written himself into the history books for a long stretch ... I suspect - you can never say never in this life - [but] I doubt if we'll see his record surpassed.

In an effort to maintain a little balance, some of those victories were in a Ford!

To give the credit where it's rightly deserved, they (Triple Eight) switched to Holden and continued delivering Championships with Jamie, that's even more impressive!

The big news this weekend is of course the wild card entry of for Marcos Ambrose with DJR - that on its own will ensure a bigger crowd, I reckon.

In the past few years the Holdens have had a field day really and The Giz is in great form! He's a freestyle driver and his style really suits the violent nature of the Homebush street circuit.

Looking at past results, Triple Eight/Red Bull Racing Australia has clearly got a good package for kerb mauling. I say mauling because that's what it takes to go quickly at Homebush.

This weekend they'll run on all Dunlop Sport Maxx Hard control tyres, which once again favour Red Bull Racing.

If I had an outside pick though, let it be Scotty McLaughlin. The Volvo is now good everywhere and Scotty is fast becoming the new Frosty ... he's always strong!

Now, back to Marcos Ambrose for a moment - I find the timing of Ford Australia's announcement of their departure from V8 Supercars the same week Ford's new 'Hero Racer' makes his return to our racing scene!

In a public poll being conducted, Marcos Ambrose leads (the poll) with over 23 per cent of the vote ahead of Scott McLaughlin followed by Craig Lowndes - what does that tell you when Marcos hasn't turned a wheel in a race car?

I think the timing (of Ford's announcement) was maybe a bit premature ... now we have what was really positive press on the return of 'Ford's Star' - the announcement has really rocked the motorsport community with their news/confirmation.

In my time in racing, which has been long and involved - the Ford Motor Company has been both in and out of motorsport in Australia. There were times during the 25-year period where passionate and dedicated management just got on and made things happen in motorsport and reaped the rewards.

I'm very proud of my time with the Blue Oval (I had 218 race round starts for Ford). Unfortunately that's in the past and there has been a cultural shift within Ford Australia. I raced a Ford for most of my career (and still do in Mustang Sally), I've got to know lots of Ford lovers around the country and I have to say, there's no more passionate group of sports fans in this nation!

The Ford Blue Oval is synonymous with motorsport, it goes right back to Henry Ford's time. Australia is a very important market and I sincerely hope they have a change of heart/mind with the arrival of Penske and Marcos Ambrose.

V8 Supercars is a fantastic platform to showcase and promote your brand. There will be lots of chances for Ford flags to wave. Let's not forget Frosty, he's been as loyal a Ford guy as you get in top-line sport!

Finally, this is a very emotional time for many including those who work in the Ford world ... I have many friends within Ford. How could this possibly happen?

Before you take aim, point the finger of blame or jump on the keyboard, ask yourself if you're a one eyed Blue Blooded Ford supporter. Is your current car a Ford? Was your last car purchase a Ford? Ford current sales are as low as 7.3per cent (market share) ... there are plenty who haven't purchased the brand they so madly support??

I've followed countless Holden/Ford supporters to the car park after a race meeting wearing every bit of team gear imaginable and they drive away in something other than the brand they so passionately support?

I'm not Ford's marketing man, they have some ripper cars! Many of them are absolutely 'Best in Class' - don't believe me; go check them out at your local Ford Dealer!

Let's hope this is a temporary measure by Ford and they'll be back once they get their house in order - let's all hope so. It just won't be the same without them!

See you at Homebush.



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

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