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HomeNewsHow a Brock mix-up became Owen’s big break

How a Brock mix-up became Owen’s big break

STEVE Owen is the first to confess that self-promotion was never his strong point, so when a misunderstanding fell his way, it turned out to be just the break he needed.

Quiet and without big backing – in fact, he worked three jobs in an effort to fund his junior career after his parents went bankrupt – Owen had to fight for every opportunity.

He was a narrow runner-up to Greg Ritter in the 1999 Australian Formula Ford Championship, from which an international Formula 3 test arose.

Owen made his Supercars Championship debut at the 1999 Bathurst 1000 co-driving with Ritter for Garry Rogers Motorsport, but that F3 opportunity would come in handy a couple of years down the track.

In fact, it was key in him winning a 2001 enduro seat alongside James Brock in an Imrie Motorsport-run Delta Europcar VX Commodore.

Brock is the stepson of the late Peter Brock, who had taken on a team manager role in the team.

“One of my first big breaks was because of a misunderstanding with Peter Brock about a test I’d had overseas,” Owen begun, speaking on Part 1 of his V8 Sleuth Podcast polished by Bowden’s Own episode.

“I won a test in Formula 3 at Zandvoort, from Formula Ford. They said, ‘right, we want to see you over there’. So I went and did this two-day test at Zandvoort at the end of ’99.

“When Brock was involved in that Europcar deal with James and they needed someone to get into pre-qualifying, somebody told Peter about me and he thought that I’d been racing over there.

“So he told the team, ‘hey, you have got to go and get this bloke because he has been racing in Formula 3 over in Europe’.

“It wasn’t until sometime later down the road after we had gone and done Bathurst that we were talking about it and I said ‘na, I didn’t race over there, I just tested’.

“So it was good that such a big break happened from a misunderstanding. You have got to take them when they come.”

As it turned out, Brock/Owen only made it through 12 laps at Bathurst before a deflated tyre forced them out.

But it was enough to keep Owen front of mind, and he would go on to make 21 Great Race starts in total including twice finishing runner-up (2010 with Jamie Whincup and 2015 with Mark Winterbottom).

Owen covers much more in the episode, such as the supposed career masterstroke which wasn’t as it seemed, the chance to drive the ‘Lap of the Gods’ car, his defection from Britek Motorsport to Rod Nash Racing, and more.

Part 2 will be released this Wednesday.

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