Tyre Tech - What Dunlop tyres mean to John Bowe
In the final TyreTech of the year we have a special guest write up from Glenford's racing driver and Dunlop ambassador John Bowe who finished his V8 Supercar racing career at the Dunlop Grand Finale.
The 2007 V8 Supercar season panned out how I expected for Glenford's racing team. I joined a very young team and in terms of results we ended up not where we wanted to be. However, on a personal level it was great to be involved in a team on the rise.
It was my 225th round at the Dunlop Grand Finale which equates to around 600 V8 Supercar race starts. Out of all of these, around 90% have been on Dunlop tyres.
This takes me back to my very first touring race in 1986 with a factory Volvo Turbo they used to call the 'flying brick'. My first race was at Adelaide International Raceway, the same year that Dunlop's very first race radial tyre was used. I made my debut and the tyre made its debut on my car.
This combination worked well as I qualified on the front row of the grid next to Peter Brock in my very first race. At the next race at the Wanaroo Race Circuit inWA I went one better and finished on pole on the Dunlops.
My relationship with Dunlop is very dear to me....not only in racing but also following the incredible development of Dunlop's road tyres. I remember having Dunlop's D40 M2 tyre fitted to my road car in 1989-1990 and most recently I was testing the latest ultra-high performance tyre - the fantastic Dunlop SP Sport Maxx for Ford Performance Vehicles The evolution of Dunlop's passenger tyres has been meteoric and I truly believe that there is no better road tyre in the world than the SP Sport Maxx.
In terms of the close season, I am involved with the final development of the new FPV but in terms of holiday - I don't get a holiday. Maybe a little time with my parents down in Tasmania. However, I am back testing in a muscle car to see what I think of that for next season so watch this space.......I'm also doing up an old Porsche at the moment. The latest addition has been the fitment of Dunlop SP Sport Maxx which has improved the way the Porsche drives remarkably. Particularly in the wet, there is an amazing change in the way the car handles.
People just don't realise how far tyres have come. From black round things they are now serious pieces of engineering and Dunlop's SP Sport Maxx is up there with the best.