John Bowe: The glittering Gold Coast

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 28/10/2015
  • By John Bowe

As most of you know, I'm no journalist and don't pretend to be, however I've had a lifetime of motor racing experience. I don't write things without thought. I try to be unbiased, although some people still think of me as Ford prejudiced - that's far from the truth.

Motor manufacturers come and go in motor sport, none more so than the Ford Motor Company who have come and gone a number of times. It's ironic, at a time when they are leading the championship and looking capable of winning.

I don't advocate every car manufacturer in the market should be in motor sport, I admire Volvo and Nissan for their commitment and belief. It's a very glamorous, exciting and image building sport after all!

It's such a shame Mercedes Benz management can't see the benefit in supporting Betty and Erebus; I guess that could be seen by some as arrogance of being a market leader.

The highlights from the Gold Coast for me - number one is the James Courtney and Jack Perkins victory, it was fairy tale stuff. I thought James's performance was incredibly stoic; he wasn't in good shape at all when I spoke to him at Bathurst - I was very surprised he even raced.

Jack has really 'come of age' this year - he's been terrific to watch, his dad Larry would be proud as punch. Larry was a fine racer in his day - he was tough, fair and uncompromising all at the same time.

Rick Kelly's discipline on fuel saving showed why he's a Championship winner, people may have forgotten over the years. His podium is a good result for Nissan. Their cars and engines are often in the mix or thereabouts. It's so damn hard to win a race given the level of team and drivers are to an exceptionally high standard in V8 Supercars today.

The endeavor and devotion by the Nissan team is amazing, a major event win can't be too far away surely?

Scotty McLaughlin's qualifying laps were awesome and Van Giz continues to show why Roland wants him. There's no better brain in racing today than Roland Dane. My friend Lowndsey did his usual attacking races - he's been so good, week in and week out.

I want to mention the co drivers who only get noticed when they make an error. There were some very high level performances over the weekend. It looks like HRT is back - no question and that's really good for the category.

The so called Red Army is the biggest fan group in the series. I want to give a special mention to Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport, a little team with limited resources - it's amazing how things go with a few personnel changes. I'm an unashamed believer in Nick Percat and Tim Blanchard is gaining confidence by the day.

Confidence or lack of it is his enemy. He has lots of ability! The racing result is so dependant on your team - meaning strategists, engineers who are quite often one and the same. The best teams usually have the best brains, that's why it's so good to see a little team hold its own.

I've been to the Gold Coast race to participate/watch every year since it first started back in 1994. I'm not convinced about the circuit however, I think the drama and intrigue it brings every year can't ever be denied.

Can I suggest the decision makers have a 500km race next year on Sunday? The fact that everyone followed the same strategy and ran their co-drivers on hard tyres at the start could have proved boring, luckily it didn't!

One last thing, turn one and shortcutting ... what do you think? If it's a concrete wall, no one would shortcut. Shortcutting should carry a time penalty each and every time!

Finally, I'm hoping the racing gods find a spot for Davey Reynolds - he's way too talented not to have a seat. I reckon he might kerb his 'off the cuff' comments in the future. My tea leaves are telling me he'll have a seat in 2016, that's the way it should be in my book!

I look forward to catching up with our Kiwi brothers/friends in a couple of weeks in NZ.


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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