23 September 2021 | General

Bathurst ‘most exciting group of races ever’ – Bowe

JOHN BOWE says he is waiting with baited breath for the massive week-long festival that will be this year’s Bathurst 1000 event.

To be run over six massive days, the event will now include the final round of the the 2021 Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters Series that Bowe currently leads.

The Paynter Dixon-backed Torana driver currently holds a narrow 10-point lead over fellow Holden ace Ryan Hansford, though the top five in the championship are covered by less than 60 points following the first three rounds of the series.

However, the five-time champion says he doesn’t care about the title race – he just wants to race, full stop.

“Everybody in TCM is hanging out to race again,” he said.

“Congratulations to Supercars and ARG for getting together and creating this extremely interesting program. I think it will be the most exciting group of races for ever at Bathurst and I’m very much looking forward to it.

“I’ve raced at Bathurst every year since 1985, so that’s a fair while. And I’m still excited to go there!”

Though clearly the most successful TCM driver in the series’ history, Bathurst has actually been one of Bowe’s least successful circuits on the tour.

His last race win on the Mountain came in 2018, while his last round victory at the circuit was back in 2015 – though since then he has finished on the round podium on three of the past four occasions.

Regardless of results, he says the place remains the ultimate driving challenge – especially in TCM metal.

“The cars are so good,” he said.

“I know they’re not exactly what the cars were in the 70s and 80s.. but they’re made from real cars, they have small brakes, no aero and plenty of power. Last year the six litre cars were doing more than 290 down the straight. My car, which is a five litre, was doing just a tad over 280! They’re challenging.

“They’ve only got little wheels and plenty of grunt. I love it. I’ve retired into TCM, quite a long time ago, and I enjoy it thoroughly!”

Bowe is one of eight drivers to have won races so far this season in what has proven to be the most wide-open TCM battle in years.

Three different drivers have won the three rounds, with Bowe winning in Tasmania and finishing second at Mount Panorama in February this year.

“It’s very competitive. I had a good run early on by not such a great run at Sydney Motorsport Park,” he explained.

“The championship isn’t such a big deal to me, but the racing I love, it’s terrific.

“Most guys are terrific to race against and It’s like old style racing. I’ve been around the race tracks for an awful long time and I can remember when those cars were new!

“We’ve done 12 races in total, which is way more than we did last year! and I’m just hoping that next year is back to normal.”