Bowe Back for Dunlop
Motorsport legend John Bowe will be back in the pits at the Clipsal 500, this time as a Dunlop ambassador, with the iconic tyre company appointing Bowe in the role for the upcoming V8 Supercar Championship season.
Bowe takes this position off the back of a fantastic season for Dunlop in which it achieved several major milestones: supplying its 50,000th tyre to the series at the Supercheap Bathurst 1000 whilst also winning its third consecutive contract to supply its highly-acclaimed control tyre to teams participating in the Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series.
"It feels extremely strange approaching the season knowing I'm not racing in the V8 Championship Series. My psyche is still as a racing driver," explains Bowe.
"However, I'm absolutely delighted with my role and my involvement as an ambassador of Dunlop tyres. My role with Dunlop goes back 20 years, involved in the tyre development and liaising with customers. However, my actual involvement with Dunlop goes back 30 years. I was the first person to race on Dunlop radial tyres in Australia and all of the Championships I have won in this country were on Dunlop product."
It is a slightly different role for me but one I am definitely looking forward to."
To launch Dunlop's presence in the V8 Supercar Championship Series this season, the tyre brand has sponsored one of the most famous corners in the V8 series - Turn 8 at the Clipsal 500 now called the 'Dunlop Sweeper.'
"It's the most difficult corners in the country but hasn't always been as tricky," explains Bowe. "Four years ago the corner had a chicane and was a third gear corner but the decision was made to open it up into a sixth gear corner."
"From a boring corner, it changed into one of the most challenging with very few on the calendar taken in sixth this is all the more challenging because it is combined with concrete barriers and no run off area meaning it's concrete wall or concrete wall. You take the turn at 230 kilometres per hour with a very minute stab on the brakes. The balance of the car is crucial and is very much like threading a needle with too much oversteer or understeer meaning a potential end to your race."
"It is the most daunting, but the most challenging of corners are definitely the most enjoyable if you master them. However, there will always be those that stretch the mark. The Dunlop Sweeper will definitely be the place to watch from," explains Bowe.
In 2007, Dunlop will manage the logistics of supplying and servicing approximately 1200 tyres to the V8 Championship and the Fujitsu Series. This will all be coordinated through two huge double transporters and a team consisting of an engineer, four to six tyre fitters and Operations Manager, Kevin Fitzsimons.