John Bowe: Frosty's time in the sun

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 20/05/2015
  • By V8 Supercars

After a very dominant display by Prodrive Racing Australia at Winton I can feel it in my bones, as old as they may be - this year is shaping up as Frosty's time in the sun.

He has (in the past) showed signs of taking the big step. I share the view, the hopes of his team, family, many fans and those like me who've followed his career. I certainly think he's deserving and due to win the Championship.

Despite going close, he's never quite had all the ingredients to make the title cake .. this year could well be very different.

The ingredients are definitely there, particularly with the improved aero package of his FG X. PRA seems have a better understanding of the limiting mid corner rotation associated with improved rear aero and a team that is incredibly hungry.

Now, without full Ford Factory support, his race team is partially funded by its owners, Rod Nash and Rusty French - who are long time racers. The golden rule in racing at this level is you need to raise the budget to race ... otherwise fortunes can disappear way too fast, we've seen in many times over.

In this incredibly competitive category ... the need/want to spend to stay competitive is frenetic. In no other category in world motorsport is the field separated by as little as a second. So, you keep spending in the hope you gain a nano second.

I love the fact real racers own our race teams, that's how it should be I reckon, racers racing racers, not corporations or car companies having fads as we've had in the past. That said, team ownership takes a huge commitment.

These guys (Rod/Rusty) are real and will keep at it, be it in a Ford product or another.Ford has had a recent change at a Senior Management level, with a new President and Marketing Manager. Let's hope they see the value in a long term association with our premier motorsport category.

In our current economic climate we motorsport people have a very real challenge to hold our market, increase our fan base and attract new supporters in a very competitive sports market.

However, the current management at V8 Supercars really impresses me -James Warburton is totally ON IT! Our future is going to be tough, as a sport, the Foxtel deal is a fantastic injection of much need funds for the race teams.

I can't believe people are still sooking about the TV deal - it's here to stay,move on. The TV coverage is complete and I honestly think we have world class motorsport coverage, not limited to the watching V8 Supercars only.

On a note of personal interest, our Touring Car Masters coverage has elevated our category massively with the exposure on Foxtel. Everywhere I go people tell me they love it. I can say for certain - TCM has been a huge winner.

I haven't struck one person who's signed up to Foxtel tell me they are not happy, I'm not wanting to start another battle here, I honestly believe quite apart from the absolute need of the cash injection the audience will grow. I understand it might be difficult for some when you've had something for free and now there is a charge. I think the package is incredible value.

Now to Winton,if the V8 Supercar race program is going to deliver those little races on Saturdays, I say do so at your own peril! The good people who follow and love our sport need to be entertained. These races are not entertaining are they?

They (the races) have an impact on our Championship, it's not right I reckon. Back in the day, the mid nineties in fact, for a couple of years, we had the 'Peter Jackson Dash for Cash'.

Obviously driven by cigarette money, this is how it worked, qualifying as usual then,then stretch/lift yourself and go do your best (again), although only on one set of tyres in the day. After the Top 10 we picked a marble out of a container and we had a 3 lap race I recall. When I say I think, it's because I've probably blocked it out of my subconscious!

It was a nightmare and the term cash, I'm not quite sure who got the cash but it was certainly wasn't the drivers. The point I want to make here is don't fiddle about with a good product.

Saturday should be a longer race with a pit stop, I do moan about this all the time ... the Dunlop soft tyre should bethe regular tyre and a new Dunlop Super Soft should be the option tyre. I know Dunlop can do it, they are ready to do it but in my opinion there are too many decision makers in the V8 Supercars process.

Get on with it please, before this amazing racing category no longer makes the public, the viewers and true fans blood boil! That's what we need - love, emotion and passion.

The product and the drivers are the very best, the packaging needs a little tweak. Who makes that call, put your hand up - make the change, let's fix it and get on with the racing.

See you in Darwin, I can't wait.

Cheers JB

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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