Bowe makes some noise
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.