Aussie motor racing legend and Rare Spares ambassador John Bowe certainly raced in style at this year’s Bathurst 12 Hour, taking to Australia’s most iconic circuit as part of the Flying B Racing team in a Bentley Continental GT.
With over thirty year’s experience at Mount Panorama and five wins spanning the Bathurst 1000 and Bathurst 12hr alike, Bowe was looking forward to utilising his experience and race the classic Marque at Bathurst in 2015.
The lead up to the 2015 event was challenging for Flying B Racing, and in testing the drivers found a severe vibration coming through the steering from the front end.
After swapping out nearly every part in the steering system, it took the arrival of some Bentley factory team members arriving from England with a complete new front end that the problem was solved and the drivers could concentrate on car setup.
Bowe was partnered with Aussie racing legend David Brabham and vehicle owner Peter Edwards for the race and after some tweaks during practice, managed a respectable 15th in qualifying.
The Ferrari 458 of sister team Maranello Motorsport had not fared so well, ending with a huge crash in practice with Tony D’alberto behind the wheel, rendering the car unrepairable for the race.
The race began before dawn and under the headlights the full field provided an incredible spectacle as they raced up and down the mountain, as campers cooked breakfast from camping locations and headed for the stands.
The Flying B Racing Bentley in race trim proved to be a solid machine and the team were on track for a solid result until an Aston Martin punted David Brabham into the wall, resulting in a DNF for the team.
“It was a fantastic event, as it has been for a few years. But the disappointment is really acute when stuff goes wrong at Bathurst. Other than my stupid rookie mistake on my first out lap the whole Flying B Racing team performed faultlessly. Great strategy and pit stops and a real joy to work with. They deserved better” said John Bowe.
"Anyway, congratulations to the Nissan team, to Liqui-Moly Australia for helping to create an amazing event, and the promoter James O'Brien who has masterminded the race onto a global scale”