Bowe makes some noise

Australian Muscle Car - - Phillip Island Classic -

John Bowe was hav­ing a mixed weekend. They’d fi­nally got the Joe Calleja-owned March 731 For­mula 1 car up and run­ning, only for it to fall foul of the noise me­ter – go­ing 2dB over the man­dated limit and end­ing up on the side­lines. Up un­til this point, John had bro­ken the lap record for cars in this group, “The March is great. I’m hav­ing a great time apart from that [the noise is­sue].”

He de­scribed it as more del­i­cate and re­fined

than the F5000 cars he has driven over the years.

The or­ange March was once raced by leg­endary Ger­man Hans-Joachim Stuck (hence the spon­sor­ship) and was pur­chased by steel mer­chant and noted car col­lec­tor, Joe Calleja, while ac­com­pa­ny­ing Bowe to the US for the big Mon­terey his­toric meet­ing at La­guna Seca.

Tom Tweedie (Chevron B24/28 F5000) won both the Satur­day races but he, too was found to be too noisy. John Bowe was full of praise for young Tom; “He’s a ter­rific young driver. He should be in Car­rera Cup so he can go up against people like Steve Richards.”

Paul Zazryn took both the Sun­day races in his Lola T332 F5000.

JB was also punt­ing a Brab­ham in the groups for 1960s open-wheel cars – a 2.5-litre BT23. His four starts yielded a pair of sec­onds, a third and a fifth, with Damon Han­cock in a 1.6-litre BT23 tak­ing the four wins.

Cas­trol Cougar re­turns

Melinda Price was back be­hind the wheel of a V8 Su­per­car – the Su­perCheap Auto EL Fal­con – as part of the ‘spir­ited demon­stra­tions’ con­tested by su­per­an­nu­ated V8 Su­per­cars.

Mel ad­mit­ted it was “good to be back”. In the last few years she’s been back at univer­sity, study­ing to be a natur­opath and be­ing a mum to her “beau­ti­ful daugh­ter who’s three now”.

A P-plate on the back of the Fal­con showed that Melinda is a ‘be­gin­ner’ again. “I had to go and get my li­cence again. I did a race meet­ing in a his­toric Lo­tus last year and this is my sec­ond time back,” she ex­plained.

“I had to go out on a damp track on Fri­day on slicks which was a bit scary, but once the track was dry on the Satur­day, it all came back to me.” Melinda was hand­ing out oldCas­trol Cougars posters which fea­tured her and Ker­ryn Brewer. “They’re old posters I had at home. I had a pile of them!” So will we see more of her? “It’s been sug­gested that other people might of­fer me drives. Hope­fully I’ll have a cou­ple of more races in the Lo­tus com­ing up. If some­one wanted to put me in one of these again...”

Early V8 Su­per­cars in their orig­i­nal liv­er­ies must surely be­come part of the big­ger his­toric fes­ti­vals and race meet­ings.

Price’s old Cougar car is in the Na­tional Mo­tor Rac­ing Mu­seum at Bathurst.

Above left: Bowe hit the March F1 car’s loud pedal with too much vol­ume. Above: Melinda Price drove one of the 15 ex-V8 Su­per­cars in at­ten­dance. Right: Stephen Grel­let’s ex-FTCC (that’s not a typo) 2.7-litre (nor is that) BMW. Be­low: Dar­ryl Hansen (Mus­tang) and Dar­ren Collins (Ca­maro) were the class of the big Group N field.

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