John Bowe's Out
Thursday, 29 November 2007
John Bowe's Out
V8 Supercar hero, John Bowe is set to retire from full-time V8 Supercar racing this weekend after 22 years in the premier class of Australian motorsport.
Concluding his hugely successful V8 Supercar career, the 1995 Champion and two-time Bathurst winner will pilot the Glenfords Falcon for the last time in this weekend's season-ending Dunlop V8 Supercar Grand Finale at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit (VIC).
The most experienced driver in the field, 53-year-old Bowe will exit the series holding the record for the most number of championship starts with an incredible tally of 225 rounds.
Bowe also departs sharing the record for most pole positions in a single season (eight) with the late Peter Brock.
Having announced his pending retirement at the start of the year, Bowe has spent the season farewelling the fans that have supported him over more than two decades.
Most famous for his successful 11-year partnership with fellow racing icon Dick Johnson, Bowe had his first drive of a race car at the age of 11 and began competing in a Formula Vee at age 16.
Beginning in the Australian Touring Car Championship with the Volvo Dealer Team in 1986, Bowe is now preparing for an emotional conclusion to the season when he hangs up his V8 racing helmet for good, this weekend.
Ironically, the 'Final Bowe' farewell tour wraps up at the scene of Bowe's biggest motor racing disaster; the massive 1996 accident in which the then defending champion feared for his life.
Remaining firmly focussed on the job at hand, Bowe hopes to leave Phillip Island with strong results in the Glenfords Falcon to round off a solid building year that has seen the young single-car team rise from backmarker to midfield competitor.
As always, fans will have the opportunity to catch Bowe in person during autograph sessions at the Glenfords Racing merchandise facility on Saturday and Sunday.
Exclusively for the last round, fans will also have the opportunity to write parting messages on "JB's Farewell Wall" that will be located at the Glenfords Racing truck in the V8 Supercar Paddock at Phillip Island.
"This whole retirement thing is much more difficult than I ever imagined, and the closer I get to the end the harder it becomes," John Bowe said.
"For the last 22 years I've been racing touring cars and V8 Supercars - it's what I do, it's who I am.
"The response from the fans has been absolutely wonderful - I'm really very moved by it all, but if I'd known how much all this would affect me I probably would have slipped away quickly and quietly.
"Phillip Island was the scene of the only really serious accident I've ever had. I've had plenty of accidents of course, but this one was big - I really thought that I was going to die in it.
"It was 1996 and it wrote off the car that I won the championship in and gave me enough scar tissue in my neck to trouble me for the rest of my life.
"I'm still a racer at heart and that's all I want to do, so I'll be trying to approach this weekend at Phillip Island like any other race meeting and do the best I can for myself and for the whole Glenfords team."