John Bowe: Now, that was quality racing

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 24/06/2015
  • By John Bowe

Well, we've been to the 'Top End' ... in previous years Hidden Valley has set the pattern for the run home. What a great weekend for motorsport, the event is definitely a winner I reckon.

One thing you can always guarantee with a resurfaced track, the racing will be great! Darwin was living proof of that - while some crazy antics from some drivers were questionable (in the least), the confidence the surface gives encourages drivers to have a bigger crack.

That style of racing is what created the aura of V8 Supercars, not follow the leader in highly technical boring processions. Maybe other tracks should take a look at their surfaces. Most circuit surfaces in Australia are patchy and ordinary with exceptions of Phillip Island and Bathurst.

With the Northern Territory Government very supportive and really behind the event, I feel the Hidden Valley round is a huge success story for V8 Supercars, given the drive and support from the Government. It's very much about delivering high quality entertainment.

The biggest deal, apart from some crazy driving incidents was Lowndesy's 100th win, an amazing achievement - it shows his supreme talent. I raced against him for 13 years in V8 Supercars, and 18 months ago I drove with him in the Bathurst 12 Hour in the Maranello Ferrari.

He's a great driver and most importantly, he's a ripper bloke! We had a ball and I was rapt to see him achieve such a significant career milestone - well done, buddy.

I must mention Dale Wood's increasingly competitive nature, for the main race on Sunday a fifth place qualifying and top 10 finish is a serious game changer for him. BJR is quietly kicking goals and has one of the best engineering groups in the category.

In the ticked the box department, I think Scott Pye and DJR Team Penske would be pleased with Scott's result in Saturday's sprint races. With two encouraging results, let's hope it's a sign for the future.

Let's face it -in today's highly technical world the driver results are reduced without the back room boys being on it.

I felt for Fabian Coulthard on Saturday, a great qualifying spot ruined by dopey driving, however on Sunday a podium was just reward -I imagine he would be disappointed because he had a winning combination going.

The Dunlop hard tyre/soft tyre combination is the answer for entertainment but I've said numerous times, the soft tyre is not soft. It's a solid race tyre but at Darwin with the lovely new high tech surface, the Dunlop Sport MAXX control tyre was not a whole lot slower and they were both very consistent, which threw team strategists into a spin.

From being one of the worst tracks for tyre degradation, Hidden Valley is now THE best track for tyre stability. That just goes to show you doesn't it, tyres get the blame for lots of things but they're not always the real problem.

Now, to David Reynolds - it was a great weekend for him. He's a serious talent who is sometimes shrouded in mystery; his performance on Sunday should ensure he has a job next year at Bottle-O Racing I reckon.

I say that because the business of V8 Supercars demands the very elite in driver performance, inconsistent performances are not good for job security/stability, especially when there are a few young guns breathing on the windows like Cam Waters.

Eight different drivers have won the 15 races this year, so anyone who reckons V8 Supercars is not the real deal needs to go get some counselling!

There's no doubt, from being the worst (aero) car last year, the Ford is now the best race car - well done to Tim Edwards and his boys at Prodrive Racing who created a fantastic race car this year.

A little personal indulgence, if I can, I hope you caught up with the Touring Car Masters news from Darwin, I ran Stevie Johnson in Mustang 'Sally' - he was outstanding, a class act. Stevie won the Darwin TCM round with two races wins and a second.

I'm hoping we raise the budget to run him again at Queensland Raceway, a personal thanks to my friends at PAYCE Consolidated and Wilson Security who jumped in to help support Steve last weekend.

Bring on Townsville, I love the northern circuits in the winter - I hope to see you there.

Cheers,
JB

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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