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Tuesday, May 21, 2024


THE MAN who famously introduced Peter Brock to crystal energy in the 1980s, Dr Eric Dowker, played an unheralded role in the career of another Australian touring car legend.

It’s one of many previously untold stories in Glenn Seton’s new book ‘Seto: The official racing history of Glenn Seton’, now available through the V8 Sleuth Bookshop.

Seton credits Dowker with helping him recover from the biggest crash of his career – although he is quick to point out there were no crystals involved in the process!

The Ford hero suffered four broken ribs and severe concussion in a testing crash at a damp Phillip Island in 2000, which meant he missed the following two events at the Gold Coast and Sandown.

Seton reveals in the book the true extent of his suffering in aftermath of the accident and the fight to be fit for the Bathurst 1000 in November.

“It was like my brain was going to blow out of my head. For the whole week in hospital, any time I stood up I’d just start to vomit,” Seton wrote.

“The broken ribs were also extremely painful. They tried giving me morphine to deal with the pain, but I had it once and vomited it straight back up. My body couldn’t deal with any of it.”

Enter Dowker, who had been introduced to Brock by wife Bev in the early 1980s and had great influence over the Bathurst legend during the years that followed.

That included co-creating the infamous ‘Energy Polarizer’ – a box of crystals that Dowker and Brock claimed could improve the handling of a car when fitted under the bonnet.

Dr Eric Dowker with Peter Brock in 1987. Pic: an1images.com / Autopix

It was a belief that cost Brock his relationship with Holden but, while out of the spotlight after that, Dowker remained close with the Brocks.

“Eric was a very good chiropractor and a great guy,” Seton continued of Dowker, who passed away in 2019.

“Peter and Bev had introduced me to him just after [daughter] Courtney was born [in 1995] to help her with Colic.

“Eric went out of his way to visit me in the Alfred [hospital] and work on my ribs [following the crash].

“It felt like regular chiropractic work, but once he’d worked on me, I could stand up and walk around, it was just amazing. You’d never believe it!”

Dowker travelled with Seton to the Bathurst 1000, where the two-time Australian Touring Car Champion made his return to action seven weeks after the crash.

Seton opens up in the book about his mental struggle driving in the wet that weekend at Bathurst, and how he felt the Phillip Island crash affected the remainder of his career.

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