6.8 C
Mount Panorama
Thursday, May 30, 2024


JOHN Bowe will return to the cockpit of a Dick Johnson Racing Ford Sierra later this year when the Repco Supercars Championship returns to New Zealand.

He has been recruited to drive chassis DJR 6 in the opening Archibalds Historic Touring Cars round, which features on the support card for the Pukekohe Supercars event.

Owned by Lance Coupland, managing director of the popular Christchurch-based Coupland’s Bakery chain, the car has lived in New Zealand since late 2020 and has been a popular addition to the country’s historic touring car scene.

Bowe rose to prominence in touring car racing aboard the DJR team’s turbocharged Sierras, joining Johnson himself to win the 1989 Tooheys 1000 along with 10 Australian Touring Car Championship race wins, plus victory in the 1989 Nissan-Mobil 500 at Pukekohe.

“I spent from 1988 to 1998 with Dick Johnson Racing and my memories from the Shell Sierra era are very special,” Bowe said.

“However it wasn’t all roses every race meeting! To be reunited with a car I raced in 1991 is incredibly special for me because it was an amazing part of my racing life – which incidentally is still going!

“Thank you so much (to) Lance the owner, Nigel Barclay and Steve Weeber the preparers for thinking of me.”

It will mark the second time that Bowe will hop behind the wheel of DJR 6 since racing it in period, having driven the car at the 2017 Adelaide Motorsport Festival.

DJR 6 was the last Sierra built in period by DJR and made its race debut at the 1990 endurance races, where it served as the #17 machine for Johnson and Bowe at Sandown and Bathurst.

Bowe campaigned the car in the early rounds of the 1991 Australian Touring Car Championship, but DJR6 was then rested until the Bathurst 1000 when it again served as the #17 entry.

Johnson took over the car for the 1992 ATCC before it became the team’s #18 entry for Terry Shiel/Greg Crick at Sandown and Bathurst, then won the season-ending Nissan-Mobil 500 Series in New Zealand in the hands of Paul Radisich and Michael Preston.

The car spent time in Western Australia and in Queensland prior to its purchase by Melbourne enthusiast Chris Stillwell, who commissioned Classic Motorsport’s Euan McDonald to restore it to take part in Heritage Touring Car events.

It was then purchased and campaigned in historic events by Terry Lawlor and spent time during 2020 on display at the National Motor Racing Museum at Mount Panorama as part of its exhibition celebrating 40 years of Dick Johnson Racing before being dispatched to New Zealand to its new custodian.

Coupland has campaigned the car regularly in historic events since, with Greg Murphy also racing the Sierra in the last couple of years.

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