Adelaide 500 recap

The 2018 Clipsal 500 is the season opener for the category now known as Supercars. This year's event was history making on four fronts: seeing the Audi Sport LMS R8 cars race in Australia for the first time; the debut run for the new SuperUtes category; the first major event for Holden in 2018 after ceasing manufacturing in 2017; and the debut of the Opel sourced ZB Commodore in a trim never to be seen on Aussie roads.


It's the twentieth time that Adelaide has hosted the opening round and the street circuit, renowned for its ability to bite any driver that blinks, didn't fail to do so again.


The program is always full at the Clipsal, with the headline act backed by a solid group of support categories including Improved Production cars, Carrera Cup,  Stadium Trucks, the Dunlop Super 2 series (formerly known as the Development Series), and the Touring Car Masters.


New to Australia were the Audis. There's a strong competition base in this category and they joined the Australian racing scene for the first time after successful seasons in the South East Asian region.


But it was eyes on the ZB Commodore as the new bodyshape hit the track for the first time on Friday. Fourteen of the ZB shapes ventured out and, as expected, it was Jamie Whincup in the Red Bull team that topped the timing chart first up.


However Whincup would also be the first in the Commodores to hit the walls in the notoriously fickle street circuit and necessitating some frantic behind the scenes repair work overnight. Qualifying had Kiwi gun Shane van Gisbergen top qualifying and he'd go on to win the weekend's races.


The Commodore itself has seen much debate, has divided purists and general punters, and with a non V8 powertrain and FWD/AWD inside its hatchback styled body in the road-going versions, further, in many opinions, takes Supercars away from its production based roots.


The Stadium Super Trucks have proved to be a crowd pleaser since they commenced racing in Australia, with the 2018 season seeing a famous Australian name in the charts. Brabham. Matthew Brabham.


Proving that petrol runs deep in his veins, Brabham would close out the weekend with a first and two thirds. The weekend was not without incident for the high flying machines, with one driver hitting a wall just before the finish line after a collision with another driver. Somehow the vehicle made it across the line in a cloud of smoke sans a rear wheel.


As always, the Touring Car Masters, or TCM, put on a show and Rare Spares ambassador John Bowe didn't hold back in his racing efforts. JB qualified third in the Wilson Security/PAYCE Holden Torana SL/R before setting the fastest lap in race one, but traffic early in the race had the Torana fall to mid field.


Race 2 was a better effort, with Bowe finishing second, and just three tenths behind Steven Johnson, son of his old racing partner, Dick. JB also managed to set the faster race time than Johnson and closed to within a tenth of the fastest ever race lap for the TCM at Adelaide, set by one John Bowe in 2017 at 1.29.28.


The Torana continued its form in Saturday's third race, taking the checkered flag a full half second ahead of Johnson in his Mustang, and again knocked on the door of the outright race record. Sunday's fourth and final race for the TCM category saw Johnson failing to finish, but Bowe avoided any entanglements to take out the race, winning the weekend, and seeing just two one hundredths of a second needed to break his own race record, setting a 1.29.30.


As a Rare Spares ambassador, John Bowe is an ideal fit for the Touring Car Masters as well, as Rare Spares have parts and panels for the kinds of cars that race in this spectator friendly category. You can find out more about Rare Spares at


Were you at the Clipsal 500? What did you think? Head over to the Rare Spares Facebook page and let us know in the comments section below.


John Bowe 2017 Touring Car Masters season review

Rare Spares Brand Ambassador and our long-time friend John Bowe has just wrapped up his 2017 Touring Car Masters campaign at the Newcastle 500 over the weekend. In what was a hard fought series Bowe and his Torana SL/R 5000 spent many rounds at the front of the pack and even led the series coming in to the final round. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be, as he could do little to stop the hard charging Steve Johnson on the tight streets of Newcastle’s East End. In this week’s blog, we’ll take a quick look at Bowe’s incredible season.

The 2017 TCM season kicked off way back in March at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide, and for Bowe the season started with a bang. Bowe was challenged early in both races 1 & 2 before recording victory in both, while a 6th in race 3 was enough to guarantee him the round victory. Round 2 at Winton saw one of the biggest accidents in the category’s history and unfortunately Bowe was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Race 1 went swimmingly for the number 18 Torana as Bowe worked from 23rd on the grid to take the win, a monumental effort around the short Victorian circuit.

Race 2 was where it all went pear shaped for a large number of the TCM field as Jason Gomersall span in front of the following pack as he rounded the 2nd corner on the first lap. Gomersall span into the path of Eddie Abelnica and his XB Falcon before being collected by Mark King’s Camaro, leaving both cars with very heavy front end damage. The ensuing pack had nowhere to go, with a number of cars finding each other or the surrounding walls. Bowe was sandwiched in the middle of all the action and the resulting broken ribs ensured a non-start for race 3 and a short stint in hospital for the fan favourite.

Bowe was able to make a speedy recovery from the massive shunt to line up only four weeks later at Hidden Valley Raceway in Darwin. It wasn’t quite a fairytale comeback as a gearbox issue left the Torana in a plume of smoke early on in the first race. Some quick work was done to the Torana and he was able to make it back on to the circuit for races 2 & 3, finishing in 2nd and 1st respectively.

On to Queensland Raceway and after recording his 90th victory in the TCM category Bowe left the event sharing the championship points lead with Adam Bressington. The ‘paper-clip’ as it’s known in the industry provides a unique challenge to competitors with a number of difficult breaking sections wreaking havoc on the TCM field. Sandown provided a unique challenge to competitors as race 1 was run in terribly wet conditions. The conditions provided a shuffle in the running order with Bowe finishing in 8th. Race 2 was abandoned while Bowe was out in front after Gomersall parked his Torana in the tyres at the end of the back straight. Wrapping up the weekend with a 2nd in race 3, Bowe was able to take the lead in the championship over his rivals.

While Bathurst wasn’t a bad weekend for Bowe by any stretch of the imagination, the event began the late season run of Steve Johnson. Scoring 4,2,2 finishes throughout the weekend was enough for Bowe to maintain the championship lead, however closing quickly was Johnson who took 2 of the 3 victories throughout the weekend at the mountain.

Bowe entered the final round with a 5 point lead, however was only able to manage 3rd in both races, making up ground throughout the first half of the track but struggling to keep up with the big Mustang of Johnson and the Camaro of Bressington down the more open sections of the track. The championship went to Johnson who won both races and the image of Bowe congratulating Johnson post-race will be go down as one of Australian motorsports great moments of sportsmanship.

As well as TCM racing, Bowe has kept busy piloting a number of different race cars throughout the country this year at a host of different events. Take a look at his Facebook page to keep up to date with all of the incredible cars John gets behind the wheel of – very impressive!

What was your favourite moment of the 2017 TCM season? Head over to the Rare Spares Facebook page and let us know in the comments section below.

Rare Spares Rare Specials at Summernats 29

Hot off the press! Rare Spares is going to make your Summernats trip even better!

For the 29th edition of this iconic event, Rare Spares is offering a HUGE 20% off* plus FREE Shipping for all orders placed and paid for at the Rare Spares stand during the entire event period!

PLUS Rare Spares are giving you the opportunity to go in the draw to WIN the ultimate motorsport weekend, known as ‘Rare Experience!’** How does tickets to the 2016 Clipsal 500 with flights and accommodation for two and a weekend to remember sound? All you have to do is see the team at the Rare Spares stand in Pavilion C to enter!

Rare Spares will also be showcasing none other than John Bowe’s race winning Touring Car Masters Holden Torana and RSP Director David Ryan’s famous FJ Holden all weekend.

To take advantage of these great offers and help us in celebrating Summernats and the classic cars we love, join us at the Rare Spares stand for Summernats 29!

The coveted Rare Spares Legend award will again be presented with a new industry legend being inducted to the Hall of Fame. Who will it be this year? Find out on Saturday night in the Main Arena.

*excluding vouchers and items already on special and 20% off full RRP of Rubber Kits

** For full terms and conditions see the online entry form at the Rare Spares stand. Permit No: ACT TP 15/08101

Word from a Winner – Exclusive VIP Experience at the Clipsal 500

7. April 2014 12:15 by Rare Spares in   //  Tags: , , , ,   //   Comments (0)

Mitchell, the winner of the Rare Experience promotion, had a chat to us about his VIP experience at the Clipsal 500.

For those of you who don’t remember, the Rare Experience promotion ran from the 3rd to the 5th of January at Summernats, offering one lucky winner + a friend, the whole motorsport package:

  • Return flights from your nearest capital city
  • 2 nights’ accommodation
  • General admission & pit lane access for the weekend
  • To be hosted by John Bowe & his racing team for the weekend including a dinner

Mitchell took his Father along for the weekend and raved about the experience.

“I had such a great weekend and I would love to do it again. Big thanks to Rare Spares, David Rayner, Amy Rayner, Hamilton (JB’s manger) and John Bowe for the great weekend and the experience dad and I enjoyed,”
he said.

“Adelaide is a very nice place to stay and the hotel Rare Spares set up was wonderful. The dinner with John Bowe, David Rayner and Hamilton was great and we laughed a lot and got to learn a little more about the category JB is racing in.”

“We got to do so much more then we were expecting, like the tour of Jason Bright’s pit and car. It felt like we were part of the team being able to go into pit lane as John Bowe lined up to race.

“Dad and I couldn't stop smiling the whole weekend and we couldn't believe how many great activities we got to do. Big thanks again, couldn't be happier with how the weekend went.”

Rare Spares offer our valued customers many promotional opportunities each year to win money-can’t-buy experiences, gift vouchers and more.

You can enter our current photo competition by sending in a pic of your restoration project or daily drive, for the chance to win a Rare Spares voucher! To enter click here.  


Rare Spares Races With Brad Jones Racing

28. February 2014 13:13 by Rare Spares in Rare Spares  //  Tags: , , ,   //   Comments (0)

Rare Spares are excited to announce their partnership with the highly successful team of Brad Jones Racing, in the BOC V8 Supercar driven by Jason Bright, competing this weekend at the Clipsal 500.

“Rare Spares are thrilled to have renewed their association with the highly successful team of Brad Jones Racing.” said David Rayner, Rare Spares General Manager.


“Our passion for motorsport runs deep, and over the years we’ve been involved with sponsorship of different categories including the Touring Car Master Series and other motoring and motorsport events and personalities.”


Brad Jones Racing have entered three cars in the 2014 V8 Supercar Series, with Jason Bright from Team BOC alongside Fabian Coulthard with Lockwood Racing and Dale Wood in the Advam Commodore.


BJR and Team BOC owner Kim Jones believes Rare Spares is a perfect fit for their team.


“Both Team BOC and Rare Spares focus on quality in everything we do”


The Rare Spares logo will feature on both front guards of car 8, as well as on the transporter, pit walling, Bright’s racing suit and other promotional materials. Bright will also appear at several Rare Spares events throughout 2014.


“We believe 2014 is going to be another fantastic year from V8 Supercar racing and we wish the best of luck to Jason Bright!”


Rare Spares are committed to their involvement in all aspects of Australia’s car culture, from motorsport to classic car restorations and motoring enthusiast festivals.