Bowe ready for final Bathurst TCM blast
Six-time Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters series winner John Bowe will embark one final journey around the revered Mount Panorama Circuit as part of the popular category at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International this November.
The Bathurst International round is set to serve as the second-to-last stop on Bowe’s “ciao for now” tour, having revealed earlier this year that it would be his final appearance in the nostalgic category.
The 105-time category race winner has enjoyed plenty of success in his 38 years of competing at the world-famous circuit, including two Bathurst 1000 race wins alongside Dick Johnson in 1989 and 1994.
Bowe has also achieved notable accomplishments in various Bathurst 6 and 12 Hour events as part of his impressive racing portfolio.
However, despite his triumphs in other racing categories, he has yet to experience a win at the legendary circuit in the Touring Car Masters class with his Torana.
Although securing a race win in November would be a fitting farewell, Bowe’s primary focus is savouring every moment of the experience at one of his most cherished racing circuits.
“It is always special to drive at Bathurst, no matter what you are driving,” Bowe said.
“It is certainly a special track and its always a special occasion to drive around there, I have now been racing there for 38 years, it’s fantastic.
“I have some great memories of the place, but I have also got plenty of bad ones.
“I was fortunate enough to win the Bathurst 1000 on two occasions with Dick Johnson, but I’ve also had wheels fall off, uprights break and a couple of crashes.
“I really have experienced all the highs and lows there, but I’m really looking forward to going back one last time as part of TCM.
Bowe admits in his younger days, the significance of Bathurst did not strike him as different to any other race track he would visit. Decades later, Bowe takes on a different view.
“When I first started driving for Dick Johnson, he used to get so excited before competing at Bathurst. I always wondered why he was like that because I treated it just like any other track. But now, I’m like him,” Bowe said.
“Bathurst International, as an event, I think is just so terrific. It is a great initiative and I hope it prospers. Bathurst is always the jewel in the crown, the most important one of the year.
“I don’t think I have won a race there in the Torana before, so it would be a lovely ending to get a win. I go into every race weekend trying to be competitive, but I’m more trying to enjoy it.”
If you needed any more reasons to relish watching Bowe in action at Mount Panorama, this year will be particularly exciting as the Touring Car Masters New Zealand is set to join the lineup.
Bowe was looking forward to the New Zealand field joining the grid, and praised the category he has spent many years racing a part of.
“We have some New Zealand cars coming over, I love racing against them,” Bowe added.
“I have been over there a couple of times to race and it’s a terrific motor racing country with terrific motor racing people.
“It’s a great category, anybody that I interested in it I would be happy to try and help them through because it’s got such attachment to racing enthusiasts.
“TCM cars are terrifically challenging to drive around Bathurst. They are way faster than they were back in the day, and you really have to think your way through it.
“The mid 60s to the 80s was quite an interesting time in the car world. We have got a great following and, whilst I won’t be in it next year, I would love to see it prosper.”
Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters will be one of seven exciting categories to join the bill at Mount Panorama this November, joining the likes of Kumho TCR World Tour and Supercheap Auto TCR Australia, National Trans Am Series, Kumho V8 Touring Car Series, Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia, International Open Wheel Cavalcade and the combined Mobil 1 Australian Production Cars and Monochrome GT4 Australia.
The penultimate round of Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters will take place at Supercheap Auto Bathurst International on 10-12 November.