BOWEíS LAPS

WE GET A SNEAK PEEK AT THE HECTIC LIFE OF ONE OF AUSTRALIA'S MOST SUCCESSFUL RACE DRIVERS

JOHN BOWE

JB'S DIARY GET YOU FIRED UP

TCM ACTION WINTON MAY 2017

AS HAPPENS in life, motor racing can throw up a surprise here and there.

As those of you who follow the Touring Car Masters action will know, I was enjoying the Winton round over the May 20, 21 weekend. Saturdayís Race 1 was as good as it gets.

Itís a crazy idea, the reverse grid approach, but boy does it throw down a challenge for the faster competitors as they thread their way through a big field toward a front of the pack position for the chequered flag? When everyone keeps their mind on the job itís a great spectacle for the fans and an exhilarating experience for the drivers. I had some incredible battles during the race and came through without a scratch on the car. Well done everyone.

Then we lined up for Sundayís Race 2, ready to fight for another good result.

We're away and into the Turn 1/Turn 2 combination.

All goodÖ And then the A9X in front had a big lose and it was everywhere, and suddenly there was what I've heard commentators call Ďcarnageí.

Thump! Whack! Game overÖ Itís a shame when these lovely and very valuable old TCM cars get damaged.

You obviously canít just get replacement parts off the shelf.

But when someone makes a mistake at the wrong moment or at the wrong part of the circuit, the potentialís there for drama and damage.

The number of cars damaged in this incident was particularly disappointing. I reckon this was partly down to some drivers trying to use the incident to gain some ground instead of showing the required restraint.

My broken ribs, which most of you seem to know about, if the 100.000-plus views of my in-car video of the incident in the first week are any guide, mark an odd-milestone in my 45-year race career. Iíve had some big crashes over the years, and come away things like soft-tissue injuries and whiplash, but I had never broken a bone until this point.

As well as the pain from my ribs it really hurt that my lovely little Torana got banged up at its first meeting after emerging from the Bendigo Retro Muscle Cars workshop with a gleaming coat of fresh paint and its new A9X body treatment.

Anyway thatís all water under the bridge now. As this goes to press Gary OíBrienís team has done its usual professional job and the carís all ship shape and ready for this weekendís round at Hidden Valley. And I canít wait to be out there again showing what the mighty little Torana is capable of.

COMING UP

IíM LOOKING forward to the VHRR Festival of Speed meeting at Winton on August 4-6.

Having missed out on driving my mate Joe Callejaís F1 March 741 at last monthís Austin 7 Club Winton Historics meeting because of my injuries, Iím keen to get back into the cockpit of the open-wheeler. Itís going to be special as well because my girl Jessie will be having her second outing in the Martini Supervee.

I was really proud of the way she took to the track in her debut event, last monthís Winton Historics meeting. Itís a steep learning curve that she tackled intelligently, making good progress over the weekend. She showed great spacial awareness among the traffic and demonstrated that sheís a quick learner, and her enthusiasm is infectious. I canít wait to see her doing more of it in August.